Kyrie Irving Returns to the Brooklyn Nets, Half Time

In latest weeks, a number of N.B.A. groups have needed to cancel practices, postpone video games and place dozens of gamers in protocols as a result of rising cases. On Friday, the N.F.L. postponed three games because of outbreaks. Medical consultants say the unvaccinated, like Irving, stay probably the most in danger from the coronavirus.

Whereas 97 % of N.B.A. gamers are vaccinated and the league has run ads selling vaccines’ use, Irving is among the league’s prime stars and most visible vaccine holdout. His stance has made him a selected trigger célèbre of conservatives in america, corresponding to Senator Ted Cruz, Republican of Texas, who publicly praised Irving for holding out, and people who have unfold vaccine misinformation.

Irving has not publicly mentioned his unwillingness to obtain the vaccine. He has developed a penchant for dipping into controversy all through his profession, corresponding to suggesting a critical belief that the Earth is flat.

When Irving was signed by Brooklyn in the summertime of 2019, he was made a key face of the franchise alongside together with his shut pal Kevin Durant. Two years later, the anti-vaccine movement did the same, even protesting on his behalf in entrance of Barclays earlier than this season’s residence opener.

Each Marks and the Nets proprietor Joe Tsai have been publicly steadfast in saying Irving wouldn’t be allowed to take the ground half time for the Nets except he was vaccinated to adjust to the town’s mandate. Tsai told ESPN in October, “It’s simply not tenable for us to have a workforce with a participant that comes out and in, no residence video games, solely away video games.”

That very same month, Marks advised reporters, “Our focus, our coaches’ focus and our group’s focus must be on these gamers which might be going to be concerned right here and taking part absolutely,” including, “It is a selection that Kyrie had, and he was conscious of that.”

On Friday, Marks modified his tune, saying, “We stay up for Kyrie’s return to the lineup, in addition to getting our total roster again collectively on the courtroom.”

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