Less than 24 hours after the Brooklyn Nets traded James Harden and Paul Millsap to Philadelphia, Sean Marks held a press conference. He understandably wouldn’t reveal the conversations that he had with Harden before the trade but he did comment on Kyrie Irving’s vaccination status.
Irving is continuing his holdout over the COVID-19 vaccine and unless New York City lifts its local mandate, it seems as if he’s going to continue to be a part-time player.
Luckily, Brooklyn picked up three new additions (Ben Simmons, Seth Curry, and Andre Drummond) to make up for Harden’s workload in games played at Barclays Center.
Kevin Durant is expected to come back after the All-Star break after being out since Jan. 15 with a sprained MCL. The playoffs will begin in mid-April and hopefully, the Nets will be healthy by then but even if they are, there’s still the possibility that Irving will only be available for road games.
As a competitor, that must be tough for Irving especially since Brooklyn is poised to make a deep playoff run. Marks echoed those sentiments during his conference on Friday afternoon.
Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving is frustrated with his part-time status.
Marks was asked about if Irving’s part-time role led to Harden wanting a trade and Marks said that he didn’t want to speak for Harden but that “the most frustrated person in this whole thing is Kyrie.”
Irving and Marks have had conversations about how the guard wants to be around the team and play in home games.
Marks hinted at the chance that NYC could get rid of its mandate when he said that Irving “is hoping for things to look different in the future.”
After the Nets game on Thursday night, Irving was asked if he’s confident in the city removing its mandate.
On Friday, Irving was active on Twitter and an hour before Marks’ presser, he replied to someone that told him to get vaccinated.
If you were hoping that Irving was going to get vaccinated now that Harden’s gone, it’s not going to happen. In order for him to play in games at Barclays Center, it’ll have to involve a decision that doesn’t require him to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, which would end the saga altogether.
Brooklyn has 10 away games remaining on its schedule and because Irving can’t play at Madison Square Garden or Scotiabank Arena, he’s only eligible to play in eight of them. If Irving can become a full-time participant by the time that the playoffs start, the Nets will be unstoppable.