Irving has declined to get the shot so far, and as such, the Nets announced that he is no longer on the team until he does so. In addition, according to the New York Post, Irving won't be allowed to train with the team or play games.
“Ultimately, yes. He has a choice to make, and he made his choice,” said Nets general manager Sean Marks, who made the decision with team owner Joe Tsai. “My job here is to make what we deem as the best choices for the organization moving ahead as a whole. They’re not always ones that are going to be met with open arms and thumbs up. These are hard decisions.”
With Marks confirming the obvious, that Irving has dug in and refused to get vaccinated — “if he was vaccinated, we wouldn’t be having this discussion,” the GM said — he made it clear that the team wants him back but exhausted every possible option.
The team has gone so far as to dismiss him from play in away games, though those municipalities permit him. New York City has a strict vaccine mandate. People must show proof of vaccination to enter sports and entertainment facilities, along with hundreds of other venues, such as restaurants, bars, and gyms.
A statement from the Nets read: "Given the evolving nature of the situation and after thorough deliberation, we have decided Kyrie Irving will not play or practice with the team until he is eligible to be a full participant."
"Kyrie has made a personal choice, and we respect his right to choose. However, currently the choice restricts his ability to be a full-time member of the team, and we will not permit any member of our team to participate with part-time availability," team management said.
"It is imperative," they went on to say, "that we continue to build chemistry as a team and remain true to our long-established values of togetherness and sacrifice. Our championship goals for the season have not changed, and to achieve these goals each member of our organization must pull in the same direction. We are excited for the start of the season and look forward to a successful campaign that will make the borough of Brooklyn proud."
The regular season is expected to start in just one week when the Nets play the Bucks.