Brooklyn Nets GM says some of his players aren't yet in compliance with New York City vaccine mandate

Sean Marks, Brooklyn Nets general manger, stated that some players wouldn't be able to participate in practice today because of New York City’s vaccine mandate.
Marks stated Tuesday at the preseason news conference that Marks could not comment on whether they could play today. "There would be some people missing from that picture.

"I won’t go into the details, but we are confident that everyone will be allowed to attend camp in the days ahead."

Marks answered the question "Correct" when asked if he thought the issue would be resolved before the regular-season games start next month.

The NBA advised teams earlier this month that players who play for their home teams in cities with COVID-19 vaccine mandates (currently New York City or San Francisco) will have to comply with them.

New York's executive order of Sept. 13 states that anyone older than 12 years old will not be permitted to enter "certain covered premises" within the city. This includes Madison Square Garden, Barclays Center and any indoor gym or fitness setting. They must also provide proof of at least one dose COVID-19 vaccine.

Monday's media day will be held in Brooklyn by the Nets before they travel to San Diego to train camp and play their first preseason match against the Los Angeles Lakers. Brooklyn will host their first preseason game on Oct. 8. Brooklyn's first home regular-season game at Barclays Center will be Oct. 24 when Brooklyn hosts the Charlotte Hornets.

Marks stated that he could not go into detail because of HIPAA violations, but that he believes everyone understands what's at stake. He also said that they had had candid discussions about the vaccine with Nets players. These are individual decisions. "Those are individual decisions. It is beyond our control.

"We support getting the vaccine and putting together a healthy team. At this point, we are ready to start the season. We don't see these -- regardless of whether they're a city-wide or league mandate -- as any kind of hindrance in putting together a team.

Marks stated that Kyrie Irving and James Harden, who both ended last season with ankle and hamstring injuries respectively, "look great" and are currently working with Brooklyn's medical staff.

However, both players have decided to extend their contracts to stay with Brooklyn. Durant signed a $198 million, four-year extension last month with the franchise. Harden and Irving may be eligible, but Marks hopes that this will change in the next weeks.

Marks stated that they have had positive conversations with both of these men and -- whether it be family members, people, and so forth -- it is always helpful to do these things in person. "This being summer, we are very conscious of letting people take their time before we get back in the swing of things.

"We look forward to meeting with them over two weeks and continuing these discussions,"

He said that Irving and Harden had previously discussed wanting to work with the Nets in the future, which gives him confidence that they will make deals.

Marks stated that he has not considered it a distraction. "Those guys know how we feel. I believe they have been vocal about wanting to be part and help build this.

"I believe we have the opportunity to build something special together for the future. They want to work together and want to be a team. I look forward to the discussions with Steve [Nash] as well as ownership, who has been tremendously supportive throughout this whole thing and with all of our players. It's like any other decision. It's partnership, and it's collaboration.

After losing Game 7 of Eastern Conference semifinals in overtime to the eventual champion Milwaukee Bucks, the Nets are now the odds-on favorites for the Larry O'Brien Trophy.

Marks stated that the Nets are ready to meet these expectations head-on.

Marks stated, "I believe our goal is to become the last team standing." There are probably six, eight, or ten teams with the same goal. It's a realistic goal. It's all about taking ownership of that goal and not being afraid to do so. We will also do everything possible to put people in place, whether they are staff, players, or other members of the team, in order for that to happen.