Irving, who is not vaccinated for COVID-19, hasn’t played all season because of the Nets’ decision before the regular season not to allow him to participate due to New York City’s vaccine mandate.
The Nets reversed course last month after a variety of injuries and COVID-related issues pushed them to allow Irving to participate in road games. The Nets had as many as 10 players in the health and safety protocols at one time and had three games postponed.
The point guard said last week he “understood” and “respected” the Nets’ initial decision.
“I really had to sit back and think and try not to become too emotionally attached to what they were deciding to do. I had to really evaluate things and see it from their perspective, meaning the organization, my teammates,” he said. “I really empathized and I understood their choice to say if you are not going to be fully vaccinated, then you can’t be a full [participant].”
Irving, a seven-time All-Star, went into the protocols himself last month before clearing them last week.