Brooklyn Nets general manager Sean Marks admitted the overall situation in which the Nets have found themselves affected their decision to bring Kyrie Irving back. The New York City mandates all individuals who want to attend indoor events to be vaccinated.
Irving refused to get the COVID-19 vaccine and the Nets sent him home because they didn't want to use Irving only for road games. The Nets have placed 10 players in the NBA's health and safety protocol. "The overall environment has changed as we've all known, drastically," Marks said, per ESPN.
"I walked to the arena today, and there's several lines out there for COVID testing, and there's 200, 300 people waiting in line to be tested. So the environment's changed. COVID has done a number on the team and on society in general, so that's certainly changed.
Managing our overall player load, that's something we've gotta be aware of throughout the course of this season. We've seen large minutes that our guys have had to endure and play, and we've gotta look at what's best for the team over the course of the season."
Marks reflected on the decision to send Irving home
Marks added: "Several months ago, we made a decision that was based around what was best for the team. What was best for the team at that point was continuity, and I think we all see that continuity right now, over the course of the last week, and whatever the future looks like may be out of the window for a while."
Marks claimed he hasn't talked with irving about his vaccination status. For now, the Nets want Irving to return to the floor and help them win games. "I have not talked to Kyrie about vaccination status," Marks said.
"I don't think that's been appropriate right now. The times I've gone to see him, these are about forming bonds and forming friendships and having conversations about the family, sometimes basketball and so forth.
Like sometimes, Steve [Nash] has mentioned in the past that he's talked [to Irving], but they never really talk about basketball, you know? We're trying to continue that camaraderie and so forth. "When he gets back here, I'm sure he'll have conversations with, whether it's myself and Steve or whether it's with players, and so forth. But I want to get him back in the fold, and we'll navigate those conversations then."