I can’t get around the COVID rules for Kyrie Irving


New York Mayor and die-hard Nets fan Eric Adams said he would do almost anything to see Kyrie Irving play at home. Anything but send the wrong message by making an exception for the unvaccinated All-Star.

Adams said Monday on CNBC that he spoke with Nets owner Joe Tsai about the possibility of bringing Irving onto the field in New York (for home games at Barclays Center and against the Knicks at the Garden); but given the severity of the pandemic and the sacrifices made to curb it, a lone player exception is not in the cards.

“Look, I want Kyrie on the court. I would do anything to get this ring. I want it so badly,” Adams said. “But there’s so much at stake here. And I’ve spoken with the owner team; we want to find a way to get Kyrie on the pitch. But that’s a bigger issue.

“I can’t see my city shut down again. It would send the wrong message just to have an exception for one player when we tell countless New York employees “If you don’t follow the rules, you can’t be employed.”

Eric Adams at the NYSE on February 28, 2022
Getty Images

The rules are constantly changing, like back and forth in a close NBA game.

As a former police officer following evidence, Mayor Adams is committed to following the science. And on Sunday, he announced that as long as the number of COVID-19 infections continues to improve, the city is considering removing vaccine requirements for “dining, fitness and indoor entertainment venues.” March 7.

That still wouldn’t allow Irving to play at home. He could enter the Barclays Center as a fan, but other employer mandates would prevent him from dressing and playing.

“All other vaccination mandates in New York will remain in place for the time being because they are and have been vital to protecting New Yorkers,” Adams said Sunday.

Kyrie Irving faced the Bucks last season
Kyrie Irving plays against the Bucks
Charles Wenzelberg/New York Post

A day later, he acknowledged that the various rules are flawed. Currently unvaccinated enemies can enter New York and face the Nets and Knicks, but an unvaccinated local player like Irving cannot.

Illogical? Yes. But those are the rules – for now.

“It makes no sense, and I don’t know who thought of putting up such a ridiculous rule that away teams can come and play with our New York teams. But those are the rules and I have to track them,” said Adams, who added that he could not allow a single exclusion (like a nonresident exception, as Irving lives in New Jersey) for a single person while battling a pandemic.

“No, I will open the door that sends the wrong message to ordinary employees. Businesses have their vaccination mandates, city employees have their vaccination mandates. I have to follow the rules. And believe me, I want Kyrie on the pitch. We are here right now to open our city due to vaccination mandates. We cannot close again. I can’t see my city shutting down again.



New York Post

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