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Vaccine Mandate Won’t Change, Calls On NBA, Nets’ Kyrie Irving

In an interview with CNN on Friday, New York City mayor-elect Eric Adams said that the vaccine mandate will not undergo any changes. It currently prohibits All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving from playing for the Brooklyn Nets as he has continually refused to get the COVID-19 vaccine. 

Adams said that Irving is the piece the Nets need to win a championship, yet he has made it clear that he has no plans of alleviating New Yorks’s vaccine mandates to allow Irving to play unvaccinated.

“New York City is not going to change their rule,” Adams said in the interview. He then put pressure on both Irving and the NBA to come to a resolution regarding the matter. “It is up to the NBA and Kyrie to come to a full understanding on how to keep him on the Nets and to continue to look at all of our athletes that are coming here… I think the NBA and Kyrie [are] going to come to a conclusion on this.”

Adams has shown the desire to get Irving back with the Nets and on the court, but just clarified that he isn’t willing to alter any rules to make it happen. 

Irving is yet to play in an NBA game since the season started in October. Following the Nets’ defeat of the Pistons on Friday night, Nets coach Steve Nash was asked about Adams’ comments, stating that they were no surprise to him. 

“My reaction is no surprise. I didn’t expect the mayor to change the mandate,” he said. “We’ve just got to focus on our team. If we could have Kyrie back we’d all be ecstatic. But we focus on our team, we keep building, we keep growing and hopefully we’ll be a really good team at the end of the year.”​

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