The Brooklyn Nets showed all their might on January 12 against the Eastern Conference leaders Chicago Bulls, and they did it with their Big 3 of Kyrie Irving, James Harden and Kevin Durant.
Unfortunately, the only way for fans and the team to see the three play together is on the street. Due to New York City’s strict COVID vaccination laws, Irving cannot attend a Nets street game.
The networks have a few options to look into, including paying a fine for every home game he plays in order to get Irving to be on the team full-time, but for now he’s only available on the go.
While he only added nine points in the win over the Bulls, there’s no question the Nets are a better team with him in the lineup, and Irving definitely knows that. After the game, he was asked by reporters how it had been to sit out the season up to this point.
Irving said he suffers from a fear of missing out, which is to be expected when you’re one of the key figures in a championship line-up when you see them compete without you.
“I didn’t want to accept it at first” he has told reporters. “I was trying not to get emotionally attached to it because when I did it felt like I was having FOMO. Every. Single. The day was just like, ‘Man, I just want to be with the boys.'”
If the Nets stay godfather and don’t look for alternatives, the way Irving would go about “being with the boys” would be simply getting the COVID vaccine. Harden joked about it after the game.
“I’ll give him the chance,” he said in response to his optimism that Irving would be able to join the Nets for home games. The Nets have shown that they can go to the playoffs without any problems without Irving, but they have struggled to beat winning teams without him.
So will Irving be able to play in home games without a vaccine?
In a tweet from ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, he notes that it doesn’t look like the Nets can pay a fine to get Irving to play, while citing a memo from the NBA.
“The Sept. 1 NBA memo to organizations states that teams must follow local laws and players who do not comply cannot play.” he says.
This seems to indicate that Irving would still not be eligible to play, despite the Nets being able to pay a fine to New York City itself. The team would definitely like to find a way to get Irving to appear in the rest of the future games, but it looks like things are going to be difficult if Irving doesn’t comply with NYC laws.
It will be very interesting to see if her dominance persists with him in the lineup as it will only make matters worse if that is the case. Playoff series will definitely be a weird experience if he can’t play in the home games.
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