アーヴィング, a seven-time All-Star, had spoken at the league’s media day last month of his excitement to play in front of fans again but refused to disclose his vaccination status, 彼は言った “would like to keep all that private.”
“I know that I’ll be there every day no matter what and just be present for my teammates as one of the leaders on the team,” アーヴィングは言った.
“I know the focus has to be at an all-time high, no distractions. This is the last thing I wanted to create, was more distractions and more hoopla and more drama around this.
“I’m doing my best to maintain this with good intentions and a good heart.”
The HSS Training Center — the Nets’ practice facility in Brooklyn — is viable for Irving to train at because it is considered a private workplace and subsequently not subject to New York City’s vaccination mandate, which prohibits NBA players from participating in home games if they are not vaccinated or exempt. The regulation does not apply to visiting players.
Listed as ineligible by the Nets, Irving was absent for Friday’s home preseason victory over the defending NBA champions, the Milwaukee Bucks.
Kevin Durant and James Harden both featured for the Nets, who ran out 119-115 winners in a repeat match-up of last season’s Eastern Conference semifinals.
Last season’s Finals MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo did not feature for the champions — though the Greek will be set to play as part of a much stronger Bucks side when the two teams meet again for the season opener in Milwaukee on October 19.