NBA

Irving believes New York mayor is 'on my side' on vaccination mandate

By Sports Desk March 06, 2022

Kyrie Irving believes New York City mayor Eric Adams is "on my side" as the Brooklyn Nets' All-Star hopes he rolls back the city's vaccination mandate to permit him to play home games.

Irving contributed 19 points as the Nets went down 126-120 on the road to the Boston Celtics on Sunday.

The 29-year-old has not been permitted to play any home games at Barclays Center this season due to New York City's vaccination mandate, although a recent change of mayorship offered Irving hope.

Adams said last week that allowing the point guard to play home games "would send the wrong message" to the people of New York, despite wanting to see Irving win an NBA championship, thus ruling out an exemption.

"Shoutout Eric Adams, man," Irving told reporters after the loss to the Celtics on Sunday, speaking publicly for the first time since Adams' comments.

"It's not an easy job to be the mayor of New York City. And with COVID looming, the vaccination mandates, everything going on in our world, with this war in the Ukraine, and everybody feeling it across America, I wouldn't want to be in his shoes right now trying to delegate whether or not one basketball player can come and play at home. I appreciate his comments and his stance. He knows where I stand.

"And I know one day we'll be able to break bread together and he'll be able to come to the games and hopefully we'll move past this time like it never happened in our sense.

"But, it's just the reality that it's been difficult on a lot of us in New York City and across the world. So, I know he's feeling it and I'm just grateful that he's on my side, as well as the [NBA] commissioner."

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