NY mayor-elect Eric Adams says city won't change vaccine mandate for Kyrie Irving

·3-min read

Throughout the standoff concerning Kyrie Irving and his decision to not get a COVID-19 vaccine, there have been two possible resolutions.

The first is that Irving decides to get vaccinated. He has made very clear he has no intention to do so. The second is a change in the local COVID-19 protocols that currently prevent the Brooklyn Nets point guard from taking the floor in New York.

There had been some hope for the second resolution when mayor-elect Eric Adams told MSNBC on Wednesday that he wants to "revisit" the city's vaccine mandates, but that apparently isn't happening either.

Eric Adams on Kyrie Irving: 'NYC is not going to change'

During an interview with CNN's Wolf Blitzer, Adams said he thinks the Nets need Irving for a championship and believes the two sides will reach a resolution, though he curiously seemed to indicate it was an NBA agreement stopping Irving from playing, not the city's vaccine mandate:

"Let me tell you something, I'm a Nets fan. Brooklyn Nets, and I love Kyrie. I think he's a piece that we need for a championship and this is something that the NBA has made their agreement if they're going to perform in the city, this is the agreement they made. So I believe that is up to the NBA and Kyrie to come to an understanding on how they are going to get through this, and I believe they are going to come to a resolution."

When Blitzer pointed out that New York's vaccine mandate is the reason for Irving's absence, Adams stated the city will not change its COVID-19 protocols and again called for Irving and the NBA to reach an understanding.

"New York City is not going to change their rule. And again, 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. Again, I think the NBA and Kyrie's going to come to a conclusion on this."

Blitzer followed up by asking Adams if he wants Irving to get vaccinated. Adams responded with a familiar line about not wanting to tell Irving what to do with his body:

"It's up to Kyrie. That is his determination. I don't want to dictate for him, it's his body. He has to make that determination on what he wants to do."

Adams, a Democrat, was elected as the next mayor of New York in a landslide on Tuesday, winning 66 percent of the vote against Republican Curtis Silwa. A change in administration from current mayor Bill de Blasio to Adams might have been the Nets' best chance for a change allowing Irving to play this season.

Nets head coach Steve Nash said earlier this week Irving would be welcomed back if Adams lifts the mandate, but it seems that won't be happening soon.

Irving has been away from the 6-3 Nets since preseason. The New York vaccine mandate only prevents Irving from playing in home games — he could still play on the road and even practice in New York, thanks to a friendly ruling — but Nets general manager Sean Marks has firmly stated the team doesn't want a part-time player. Even Nets owner Joseph Tsai has said he doesn't know when Irving will play again.

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