Kyrie Irving able to practice with Nets at Brooklyn facility, sources say

James Harden said that a major reason he chose to join the Nets was to play with Kyrie Irving, and he would like him to be on the team. (1:22).
Harden on Kyrie - 'I want he to be on team'Harden is on Kyrie : 'I'd like him to be part of the team' (1.22).

Sources confirm that Kyrie Irving, Brooklyn Nets' star, will be able practice at the team’s Brooklyn facility, according to ESPN. However, Irving won't still be able play in home games due to the COVID-19 mandate.

Irving's status has changed because the city determined that Irving's HSS Training Center in Brooklyn is a "private building" and not an indoor gym. This is one of many indoor facilities that are covered by the city's vaccine mandate, which went into effect last month.

It sounds like Kyrie may be on the road with me, but I'm not certain he'll play, since we haven’t seen him for a whole week and safety first," Steve Nash, Nets coach, told reporters before Friday's preseason match in Brooklyn against Milwaukee Bucks. This was the second matchup Irving had to miss this season because of the vaccine requirement. There is no risk of injury but there are many things to consider. "We're just gathering information at the same moment as you guys, so we'll wait and see what happens."

Irving hasn’t been with the team since Brooklyn's return from California. The Nets held training camps in San Diego and Los Angeles before their preseason opener. Irving did not play Sunday against the Lakers.

New York City's vaccine mandate states that a person must have proof of at minimum one COVID-19 vaccination shot in order to be allowed to enter indoor gyms. This includes Barclays Center, Madison Square Garden and Barclays Center. Irving was not permitted to participate in the team's media conference. Irving instead participated in the event via Zoom from his home. It was held at Barclays Center on Sept. 27, 2009.

Irving was also required to miss practice due to the requirement. This prompted Nash, who was asked if the Nets considered moving their practice location to allow Irving to train with them. The coach dismissed the idea.

After Friday's city change, Irving will be able to exercise at the facility. On Saturday, the Nets will hold an open practice at Brooklyn Bridge Park, and then they'll have a practice at their facility on Sunday. Monday's game against Philadelphia is Monday. This is Irving's last chance to play before the season opener against the Bucks, which takes place in Milwaukee on Oct. 19.

Nash stated, "I mean I think all that I would say is that it's a positive thought." We have him with us for a longer period of the season. We'll watch and see what happens. I'm not sure. This [ruling] was just published. Is there another? Will he be allowed to practice at home? Is it possible for him to practice at our facility?

"We are following the latest and I don’t believe anyone has ever been through this. Although the pandemic is new for everyone, we now find ourselves in an environment where it creates new situations. I don't know how to express my gratitude that he is now able to train with his team at the practice center, which gives us more contact points. We will continue our journey from there.

Nash was asked about Irving's potential to play Monday and if it was like checking in with an injured player to find out where they are at, given Irving's absence from the team.

"Yeah. More or less. Because when someone can resume full activity on court," Nash stated, they still need to do "a certain amount high-intensity training before you put them in a match." Even if you don't have injuries, you still need to meet those thresholds. And if you do get hurt, you must also reach those thresholds.

Irving will not be able to play in Brooklyn or Madison Square Garden against the rival Knicks. The city's new stance isn't going to change Irving's inability. If he doesn’t follow the mandate, it could cost him $17 million.

The NBA and National Basketball Players Association agreed that anyone who misses games this season without "reasonable cause", will be subject to a 1/91.6th (or less) of their salary. However, Irving is not covered by the agreement.

"They have been reporting that we have agreed that if a player is unable to play due to his non-vaccination status they could be docked [pay]," Michele Roberts (the NBPA executive director) told The New York Daily News earlier in the week. "We disagree. "We did not agree." The league believes they can. We'll see.

The Athletic reported first the news that New York had changed its stance regarding the Nets' facility.

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