Brooklyn Nets star guard Kyrie Irving says there is no absolutely no hard feelings toward New York City Mayor Eric Adams despite his ruling. Adams said he badly wants the city of New York to win a championship but added that allowing Irving to play unvaccinated would send the wrong message to the city.
"Shoutout Eric Adams, man," Irving said after the Nets' 126-120 loss to the Boston Celtics on Sunday. "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 commissioner [of the NBA]."
Irving can now attend home game but still can't play
Many find it absurd that Irving can't play Brooklyn's home games, while unvaccinated players from opposing team are allowed to play at Barclays Center. To make it all even more bizarre, Irving is now allowed to attend Nets' home games but still can't play.
"Listen, I want Kyrie on the court," Adams said during an interview with CNBC. "I would do anything to get that ring. So badly, I want it. But there's so much at stake here. And I spoke with the owner of the team.
We want to find a way to get Kyrie on the court, but this is a bigger issue," Adams said in the interview. "I can't have my city closed down again. It would send the wrong message just to have an exception for one player when we're telling countless number of New York City employees, 'If you don't follow the rules, you won't be able to be employed.' "