NBA's Adam Silver talks Kyrie Irving COVID vaccine drama, supports city mandates

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NBA Commissioner Adam Silver supports New York City’s local coronavirus vaccine mandate and said Kyrie Irving’s decision to forgo vaccination against the illness wasn’t a league issue.

Irving would be barred from playing home games at the Barclays Center and in San Francisco against the Golden State Warriors for failing to comply with city officials’ vaccination laws. The Brooklyn Nets also drew a red line on Irving’s status, saying he will be prohibited from practicing with the team until he gets vaccinated and won’t be a part-time player.

Kyrie Irving #11 of the Brooklyn Nets looks on during the game against the Boston Celtics during Round 1, Game 5 of the 2021 NBA Playoffs on June 1, 2021 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. 
(Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images)

Brooklyn Nets star Kyrie Irving has been criticized for taking a stand against coronavirus vaccine mandates. 
(Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images)

Silver said about 96% of players have been vaccinated and added that he hoped the Nets star would get vaccinated too.

“I hope that Kyrie, despite how strongly he feels about the vaccination, ultimately decides to get vaccinated because I’d love to see him play basketball this season,” he said.

FILE – Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving (11) shoots against the Milwaukee Bucks during the second half of Game 1 of an NBA basketball second-round playoff series in New York, in this Saturday, June 5, 2021, file photo. Players like Kyrie Irving, who has refused to say if he will be vaccinated against COVID-19, will be subject to testing on all NBA practice, travel and game days this season. Fully vaccinated players will not. (AP Photo/Adam Hunger, File)
(AP Photo/Adam Hunger, File)

Brooklyn will start its season against the Milwaukee Bucks on Tuesday.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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