Commissioner Adam Silver of the NBA – NYC COVID-19 vaccination rule that prevents Kyrie Irving from playing at Home ‘doesn’t make sense’

Adam Silver, NBA commissioner, said that New York City's vaccination mandate is effective in preventing disease. Netsguard Kyrie IrvingAn appearance on ESPN's Get Up on Wednesday morning revealed that playing in home-based games “doesn’t make sense to me”.

Irving, an unvaccinated opponent to COVID-19 cannot play at Barclays Center due to the mandate. Unvaccinated players from other markets can play in New York City.

Silver stated that the New York law is peculiar because it applies only to home players. I think that if that rule is ultimately about protecting people in the arena, it doesn't make sense that an away player can play in Barclays while the home player cannot. They should examine that ordinance.

Silver stated that the league wanted vaccinations to be mandatory for all players, but the NBPA resisted that idea. Silver mentioned that 98% to 98% of the players had been vaccinated. He also said that the “vast majority”, however, was still being boosted.

Silver, who has been to the NBA offices in New York City for the past year, witnessed some of the masking restrictions being lifted firsthand and said there's a feeling that more people are out and around the city.

“So while I still believe people should be vaccinated and booster, I can picture Brooklyn as part of New York City with an Eric Adams-appointed mayor. I could see him making changes along the road and saying it's no longer necessary for a mandatory vaccination requirement.

Irving expressed his hope that the mandate would be reversed so that he can play in home games last Saturday, while speaking to reporters in Miami.

Irving said, “There is no guilt that I feel.” Because I play in New York City, this is the only problem that I have to deal with. It wouldn't be the exact same situation if I were in another city. We are there because I am there [mayor]Eric Adams, the New York mandate is in place, and there are real-life situations that affect me. These are the questions I'm asking you, and I don’t feel guilty.

“I'm living my life as best as I can. This is just like the people who have missed the past two years. I didn't have any plan while this was happening, so that's what I didn't know. Both the NBA and NBPA made it clear that there were things I could do to get around these issues. That's not on the table. You can tell me, are you alone here, or have I got support from everyone else who's going through the same thing? Irving's remarks came just two days following the blockbuster transaction that sent James HardenFrom the Nets, Philadelphia and brought Ben SimmonsBrooklyn to Brooklyn in a deal that was publicly announced in terms trade demands.

Silver stated that he hopes situations such as this don't happen in public, but acknowledged that they will.

Silver stated that players who want to be traded or teams preparing to make moves should have conversations with them privately. It has been happening since the beginning of the season, especially with Philly, although it is not public.

Silver answered a question regarding the data on the impact that superstar movement had on NBA fans. His answer was that viewpoints have changed throughout the years.

Silver stated that David Stern used to say Larry, and then you would say Magic, Boston, Magic, Michael, and Bulls. But that was another time. “We're now seeing shorter contracts. I don't think this is a bad idea. We tried to tie performance to pay in an easier way back when we worked with our Players Association around ten years ago. I think that's what's happening with shorter contracts.”

Silver does not want shorter contracts, even though they were a good option for the league.

Silver stated, “So, the data suggests that superstars moving doesn't necessarily have to be a bad thing. It allows bad situations, in an ordered way, to change.” It gives teams who may not be in a strong position the chance to sign one of these players. However, shorter contracts are something I find very different. Free agents moving at the end contracts is different from what we saw with players actively looking to move. This is based on data. This is not good news for the league.

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