Time is running out on Kyrie Irving’s NBA regular-season schedule with only three more road games after Wednesday’s matchup with the Memphis Grizzlies.
But if New York City goes through with plans to lift the city’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate on athletes on Thursday, according to The Athletic’s Shams Charania, Irving will be able to suit up and play in the Barclays Center as soon as Sunday.
Kyrie Irving is eligible to make his home debut at Barclays Center on Sunday vs. the Charlotte Hornets, sources tell @TheAthletic @Stadium. New NYC exemption for in-town athletes and performers will be effective immediately beginning Thursday.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) March 23, 2022
The timing couldn’t be better for the Nets, who currently own the eighth seed in the Eastern Conference and a potential date in the play-in tournament starting on April 12. Irving, who has missed 35 home games this season, is averaging 27.7 points in Brooklyn’s 19 road games.
Irving couldn’t hide his excitement in the press conference after the Nets’ loss to Memphis but did contain his feelings until everything was official.
“I can’t wait to talk to you guys once something’s official.”
— YES Network (@YESNetwork) March 24, 2022
While the mandate changes by Mayor Eric Adams are big news, he hinted that any future amendments to the policy would be based on careful consideration.
“We’re going to do it in the right way,” Adams said Tuesday via ESPN. “We’re going to follow the science… we’re going to make the right decision. And in New York, no matter what you do, this is 8.8 million people and 30 million opinions, so you’re never going to satisfy New Yorkers, so you must go with the logic, your heart, and the science.”
The Brooklyn Nets have one more road game to play against the Miami Heat on Saturday before Irving can have his potential home debut this season.