Nets’ Decision To Bench Kyrie Irving Likely Involved Teammates

Star guard Kyrie Irving will not play or practice with the Nets until he can be a full participant, the team announced in a press release.Kyrie Irving

Irving has not been vaccinated against the coronavirus and therefore would not be eligible to participate in game in Brooklyn. He would be eligible to play in the majority road games.

“Given the evolving nature of the situation and after thorough deliberation, we have decided Kyrie Irving will not play or practice with the team until he is eligible to be a full participant,” Nets GM Sean Marks in a statement.

“Kyrie has made a personal choice, and we respect his individual right to choose. Currently the choice restricts his ability to be a full-time member of the team, and we will not permit any member of our team to participate with part-time availability. It is imperative that we continue to build chemistry as a team and remain true to our long-established values of togetherness and sacrifice.

“Our championship goals for the season have not changed, and to achieve these goals each member of our organization must pull in the same direction. We are excited for the start of the season and look forward to a successful campaign that will make the borough of Brooklyn proud.”

Marks also told reporters, “This is a decision ultimately (Nets owner) Joe Tsai and myself made.”

According to Brian Lewis of the New York Post, the decision may have also involved Irving’s teammates.

“It was likely also collaborative and included input from the Nets’ other stars,” Lewis wrote. “When coach Steve Nash was asked Monday by the Post whether reducing Irving’s role if he resists the vaccine and willingly becomes a part-time player would include input from Kevin Durant, James Harden, Marks and owner Joe Tsai, Nash said it would.”

Irving, 29, averaged 26.9 points and 6.0 assists in 54 games last season, his second in Brooklyn.

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