- Ohm Youngmisuk has covered the Giants, Jets and the NFL since 2006. Prior to that, he covered the Nets, Knicks and the NBA for nearly a decade. He joined ESPNNewYork.com after working at the New York Daily News for almost 12 years and is a graduate of Michigan State University.
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Kyrie Irving did not practice with the Brooklyn Nets in Brooklyn on Tuesday as the point guard is unable to practice or play in New York under the city’s COVID-19 vaccination protocols.
After practicing with the team last week at training camp in San Diego, Irving did not attend the team’s first practice back in Brooklyn. Players in the New York market must have at least one vaccination shot to practice or play in New York.
“No further update,” Nets coach Steve Nash told reporters after practice about Irving’s status for home practices and games. “We support him. We are here for him. Things change. When there’s a resolution, we’re here for him.”
The NBA and the National Basketball Players Association agreed to a reduction in pay of 1/91.6 of a player’s salary for each game an unvaccinated player misses because of local COVID-19 vaccine mandates, ESPN’s Tim Bontemps and Bobby Marks reported. The Nets play their next preseason game Friday against Milwaukee in Brooklyn.
“I’m not really worried about anything,” Nash said when asked about not having his starting point guard for practice in Brooklyn. “We’re just trying to work every day. We came in today and had a great practice and we’ll do the same tomorrow, and that’s kind of where I leave it.”
Nash was asked whether there has been any consideration of moving the team’s practices outside of New York City to have Irving be able to participate.
“No, this is our home, this is where we’re going to practice and we have almost a whole group,” Nash said. “So that’s a positive, and we’re just working at getting better every day and focusing on the things we can control.”
Irving — who would lose roughly $380,000 per game if he is unable to participate in home games — was not able to attend the team’s media day in Brooklyn on Sept. 27. But he did talk to reporters remotely and asked for privacy regarding his decision.
“I know that I’ll be there every day no matter what and just be present for my teammates as one of the leaders on the team and be there for my growing tribe off the court,” Irving said during that media day remote session. “I know the focus has to be at an all-time high, no distractions. This is the last thing I wanted to create, was more distractions and more hoopla and more drama around this. I’m doing my best to maintain this with good intentions and a good heart.”
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