Irving was allowed to practice with the team after the Nets’ training facility was considered private. His return to the team’s home court, however, will remain restricted.
“I think we recognize he’s not playing home games. We’re going to have to for sure play without him this year. So it just depends on when, where and how much,” Nets Head Coach Steve Nash said.
Athletes from New York City-based sports teams who play in an indoor arena are required to receive at least one dose of an authorized COVID-19 vaccine, even if the athletes themselves are not residents of New York City, according to the city’s executive order (pdf).
Irving has not spoken publicly about his decision to refuse to comply with the vaccine mandate since addressing media via a Zoom video in September.
His only response to the recent news was a vague statement on Twitter that said “I am protected by God and so are my people. We stand together.”
I am protected by God and so are my people. We stand together.
— A11Even (@KyrieIrving) October 9, 2021
Last season, Irving was fined more than $1 million for unexplained absences related to COVID-19 protocols. It is unclear how much Irving will lose sitting out home games this season, though he reportedly makes $400,000 per game.
If the restriction remains throughout the 2021-2022 season, Irving could miss 41 home games and lose up to $16.8 million.
The NBA has fined the Nets’ Kyrie Irving $50,000 for violating the league’s health and safety protocols and assigned him a five-day quarantine
He will forfeit more than $400,000 in salary per game for those missed during quarantine at a rate of 1/81.6 of his season salary pic.twitter.com/oaj4u0dWHm
— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) January 15, 2021
The restrictions from home games do not include restrictions in other NBA stadiums that require vaccine mandates. So far, those include Madison Square Gardens in New York, home of the NBA’s Knicks. The Golden State Warriors, Los Angeles Lakers and Los Angeles Clippers include similar regulations in California.