According to New York City laws, all players employed by the Knicks or Nets must have at least their first dose of the vaccine before they can step foot on the floor of their courts.
However, recent comments from NBA Commissioner Adam Silver suggest that the league may soon be revising its own regulations.
Silver said he doesn’t understand why the rule says that only home players must be vaccinated and away players don’t have to be.
This comment has led many to believe that Irving may end up playing at home after all.
I’ve believed it all year, and today’s comments from Adam Silver have only made me more confident —- Kyrie Irving will be playing home games at some point this season.
— Alec Sturm (@Alec_Sturm) February 16, 2022
What are the chances of the NBA changing its view and allowing Irving to once again be a full participant with his team?
No More Mandate
To be clear: the NBA has no control over New York City rules and if an unvaccinated Irving plays at Barclays he may still face fines, no matter what the league decides.
However, if Silver and his staff really do decide the mandate isn’t helping anymore and isn’t accomplishing anything, they could choose to pay those fines or allow the Nets to do so.
This would be a radical change.
When the season began, the Nets said that Irving wouldn’t be involved with the team at all – away or at home – because of his refusal to get the shots.
They changed their minds a few months later as COVID absences decimated their team, allowing Irving to go on the road with his teammates.
Now the only thing standing between Irving and home games is the NBA’s insistence on following New York’s law.
Silver’s recent statements about that law seem to suggest that maybe things will be changing in the near future.