Nets was fined $ 50,000 for letting Kyrie Irving enter her locker room

The NBA fined the Nets $ 50,000 for allowing guard Kyrie Irving to enter the team’s locker room during Sunday’s game against the Knicks even though Irving had not been vaccinated against the coronavirus and therefore did not allowed him to be with the team at the Barclays Center.

Irving had attended the match as a spectator, with a seat in the front row.

Under New York City law, Irving is unable to play games at the Barclays Center due to a vaccination warrant for New York City workers who do face-to-face work. Although Mayor Eric Adams eased some vaccine requirements this month, he has left the private sector mandate in place. According to NBA health and safety protocols, teams are required to follow local regulations.

The Nets declined to comment.

During a public appearance on Sunday, Adams answered an interlocutor who urged him to let Irving play: “Listen, you’re right. Kyrie can play tomorrow: get vaccinated. “

Nets striker Kevin Durant called the rule “ridiculous” after Sunday’s Knicks game. He has also criticized the mayor for his name.

“It looks like, right now, someone is trying to make a statement or aim to make their authority more flexible,” Durant told reporters. “Everyone here is looking for attention. That’s what I think the mayor wants now: a little attention.”

Minutes after the NBA announced the Nets’ fine on Monday, Durant issued a statement through the Nets and softened his position toward Adams.

“The last two years have been a difficult and painful time for New Yorkers, as well as a very confusing time with the changing landscape of rules and mandates,” the statement said. “I am grateful for the work that the mayor has in front of him with all that the city has experienced. My frustration with the situation does not change the fact that I will always be committed to helping the communities and cities where I live and play. “

Irving’s vaccination status has plagued the Nets all season. He has only played 18 of the team’s 68 games, in part because his term has barred him from playing at home and he has refused to be vaccinated. Irving is allowed to play in road games where cities do not have vaccine warrants. Only Toronto, where the Raptors play, bans unvaccinated visiting players from competing.

Irving’s limited availability has contributed to the Nets’ free fall from one of the best teams in the NBA to one that struggled only to reach the playoffs with 14 games left. The Nets (35-33) are currently in eighth place in the Eastern Conference standings, one game ahead of Atlanta (34-34); only the top eight teams qualify for the postseason. Unless Adams changes his mind, Irving will only be eligible for four of the team’s remaining games.

Falling positive tests across the country and the rise of other mandates had raised optimism in the Nets organization that Irving’s return as a full-time player was imminent. Although Irving’s limitations under the mandate have received disproportionate attention due to his celebrity, the rule applies to New York City employees of more than 180,000 companies, as well as other local sports teams such as the Knicks.

NBA commissioner Adam Silver told ESPN last month that the rule banning Irving from playing at home “doesn’t make much sense” because opposing players who aren’t vaccinated can play on the premises. of New York City. Later that day, Adams agreed with Silver, saying the rule was “unfair,” but also that lifting the warrant “would send contradictory messages.”

The NBA pushed for its own player vaccination mandate before the season, but the players’ union refused to accept one.

Irving’s attendance at Sunday’s national televised game against the Knicks created a spectacle. Los Angeles Lakers striker LeBron James, the NBA’s biggest star, took to Twitter during the game. writing that the law “It literally has ABSOLUTELY ZERO SENSE !!!”

He added: “They say that if common sense were common, we would all have it. That’s not the truth. #FreeKyrie.”

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