‘Free Kyrie!’: Nets Fans, Players React To Irving Sitting Courtside

Kyrie Irving, Brooklyn Nets, NBA Trade Rumors
NBA Analysis Network

As NBA superstar Kevin Durant and the Brooklyn Nets were playing the New York Knicks at Barclays Center on Sunday, Durant’s co-star, Kyrie Irving, was sitting courtside watching the game as a spectator in tickets he paid for.

Unvaccinated fans and unvaccinated visiting players can play at Barclays Center, but Irving remains ineligible due to the New York City COVID-19 vaccination mandate. As the start of the 2022 NBA playoffs continues to approach, there was optimism about Irving being cleared to play, but the sentiment has seemingly remained unmoved.

Kyrie Irving, who is unmasked and unvaxxed, is able to spend time in the Brooklyn Nets locker room, sit courtside and dap up Kevin Durant after he drops 53 points on the Knicks, but remains ineligible to play. Durant put pressure on New York City Mayor Eric Adams about the policy after the game.

As Irving approached his seat, Nets fans chanted “Free Kyrie! Free Kyrie!”

LATEST NBA NEWS: Kyrie Irving Attends Duke Game At Barclays Center; Still Can’t Play

“It’s ridiculous,” Durant said. “I don’t understand it at all. I don’t get it. It just feels like, at this point now, somebody’s trying to make a statement or point to flex their authority. Everybody out there is looking for attention. That’s what I feel like the mayor wants right now; some attention.

“He’ll figure it out soon. He better. It didn’t makesense. There are unvaxxed people in this building already. We got a guy who can come into the building. Are they fearing our safety? I don’t get it. We’re all confused. Pretty much everyone in the world is confused at this point. Early on in the season. people didn’t understand what was going on but now, it just looks stupid. Hopefully Eric, you got to figure this out.”

Nets coach Steve Nash was unimpressed by the way the process has played out for his team. There is still hope that Kyrie Irving becomes cleared to play, but Nash feels as though the Nets have been “let down by this process a lot of times” with it’s been handled.

“We’ve been let down by this process a lot of times in a sense,” Nets coach Steve Nash said. “We’re hoping and wanting him to be able to return, so we have not really, I think, put ourselves in a position to think it’s happening for sure. We just keep proceeding with the task that we can control. That’s getting better every day and obviously, we wish he was back yesterday, but the reality is we only focus on what we can control.”

LATEST NBA NEWS: Kyrie Irving Attends Duke Game At Barclays Center; Still Can’t Play

The Brooklyn Nets go on the road for their next matchup on Tuesday against the Orlando Magic, which Kyrie Irving will be able to accompany Kevin Durant on the floor. Then, when the team returns for a three-game homestand that begins the next day, he will be ineligible to play.

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