Irving has so far refused to publicly disclose his vaccine status, but on Tuesday Nets general manager Sean Marks said he would not play or train with the team until he fulfilled the eligibility conditions.
“Kyrie made a personal choice, and we respect her individual right to choose. Currently, the choice restricts her ability to be a full-time member of the team, and we will not allow any member of our team to participate on time. partial availability, ”Marks said.
“What would you do if you felt uncomfortable going into the season when you were promised to have exemptions or you didn’t have to be forced to get the shot?” said Irving. “It was not a problem before the start of the season. It was not something that I expected to come where I was preparing for it and I had the chance to strategize on what was going to be best for me and my family. “
Irving’s player status had been questioned
But the team issued their ultimatum on Tuesday, saying Irving wouldn’t be able to play any game for the Nets.
“It is imperative that we continue to build chemistry as a team and stay true to our long-established values of unity and sacrifice,” said Marks. “Our championship goals for the season have not changed, and to achieve those goals every member of our organization needs to shoot in the same direction,” he said.
“Do you think I really want to give up my dream of chasing a championship?” Irving said in the video Wednesday. “Do you think I really want to quit my job? Do you think I really want to stay home and not deal with things with my teammates that I was able to grow up with, to learn with?”
Irving said he had no plans to retire. “Don’t think I’m going to give up this game for a vaccination mandate or to stay unvaccinated,” he said.
The Nets open their 2021-22 season on the road against defending NBA champion the Milwaukee Bucks on Tuesday.
CNN’s Jill Martin, Jacob Lev, Jack Bantock and Ben Church contributed to this report.