Brooklyn Nets Head Coach Steve Nash has confirmed that the team's starting point guard Kyrie Irving is not expected to play in home games this season. Current COVID-19 guidelines in New York restrict unvaccinated members of the New York Knicks and Brooklyn Nets from playing in any home games this season. As it stands now, Irving is reportedly the only member of the team's starting lineup not to receive a COVID-19 vaccine.
"I think we recognize he's not playing home games," Nash told reporters on Sunday, according to CNN.
"We're going to have to for sure play without him this year. So it just depends on when, where and how much."
Irving has not elected to discuss his decision to remain unvaccinated in-depth. When asked, he has told reporters that he "would like to keep all that private."
Despite not being vaccinated, Irving will play away games this season. In addition, he will continue to practice with the team regularly and remain an active leader on the sidelines.
"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," he said, according to CNN.
"I'm doing my best to maintain this with good intentions and a good heart."
If Irving remains unvaccinated, the Brooklyn Nets will start this season the same way they ended last season. Irving was injured in last season's second-round series against the Milwaukee Bucks. As a result, Kevin Durant, James Harden and the rest of his teammates carried the load. However, the Nets fell to the Bucks in seven games and Milwaukee went on to win the 2021 NBA Finals.
The Nets 2021-2022 campaign will kick off in Wisconsin against the reigning NBA champions on October 19.