12 October (NWN) — Brooklyn Nets general manager Sean Marks said Tuesday that the choice of Kyrie Irving for not complying with New York City’s COVID-19 vaccination mandate left the franchise “no choice” but to send the star point guard away from the team. until he is fully eligible to participate.
“He has a choice to make, and he made his choice,” Marx told reporters during a virtual news conference. “Again, my job here is to make the best decisions we can and the best choices for the organization going forward overall. They’re not always going to be met with open arms and a thumbs up.
“These are tough decisions. Like I’m sure it wasn’t easy for Kyrie to make either.” [decision] For not being around your teammates.”
Earlier on Tuesday, the Nets issued a statement from Marks saying that the team decided Irving would not have “part-time availability” for the 2021–22 season. He said the franchise would welcome Irving back once he complied with New York City’s vaccine mandate.
The COVID-19 vaccination mandate, which went into effect last month, mandates that anyone entering an indoor gym — which includes the Nets’ Barclays Center and the New York Knicks’ Madison Square Garden — must receive at least one vaccine shot. needed.
As a result of the mandate, Irving was prepared to miss at least 43 regular-season games – 41 at Barclays Center and two at Madison Square Garden – and two preseason games in Brooklyn. Marks confirmed that Irving would only lose pay for those games – about $380,000 per game.
“Ultimately, it was the decision [Nets owner] Joe Tsai and I, and this decision was the right move for the organization at this point in time, which is what we felt,” Marx said when asked whether fellow Nets stars Kevin Durant and James Harden had been consulted on the move.
Marx had several conversations with Irving regarding the situation before making his decision. However, the general manager did not say whether he had personally reported the news to Irving.
“Kyri has made it clear that he has a choice in the matter, and it will ultimately be up to him what decision he makes,” Marx said. “We respect the fact that he has a choice and can make his own right to choose. Right now, what is best for the organization is the path we are taking, and I will not speak for Kyrie Wanted.
“At the right time, I am sure he will address his feelings and what may be the way forward for them.”
Marx was asked directly whether Irving had been vaccinated, he said: “Well, if he was vaccinated, we wouldn’t be in this discussion. I think it’s probably pretty obvious.”
The decision comes a week before the Nets begin the NBA season with a matchup against the defending champion Milwaukee Bucks.