One of Kyrie Irving’s final remaining paths to potentially being able to play for the Brooklyn Nets this season without getting a COVID-19 vaccine was effectively closed off on Friday night. New York City mayor-elect Eric Adams appeared on CNN on Friday and got asked by Wolf Blitzer about the city’s vaccine mandate, which is the reason why the unvaccinated Irving is unable to suit up for the Nets right now.
While Adams said that he is a Nets fan and that he thinks Irving is “a piece that we need for a championship,” he said that any resolution to the situation would have to come on the NBA’s end.
"Our national government, the lawmakers, they will make decisions, but really it's on a city level that we have to carry out those decisions… I think it's imperative that we keep our eyes, our ears, and our focus on the cities."
– NYC Mayor-elect Eric Adams pic.twitter.com/2eF2irF6K8
— The Situation Room (@CNNSitRoom) November 5, 2021
“New York City is not going to change their rule,” Adams said. “And again, it is up to the NBA and Kyrie to come to a full understanding on how to keep him on the Nets and to continue to look at all of our athletes that are coming here. Again, I think the NBA and Kyrie’s going to come to a conclusion on this.”
Nets coach Steve Nash was informed of this after the team beat the Detroit Pistons on Friday night and made clear he did not expect the city to change its mandate once Adams is sworn into office.
Steve Nash on NYC mayor Eric Adams saying he wouldn’t change the vaccine mandate for Kyrie Irving: “I didn’t expect the mayor to change the mandate.”
— Vincent Goodwill (@VinceGoodwill) November 6, 2021
While Irving can practice with the Nets and play in road games, the team made the decision that he would not join them until he gets vaccinated.