Nets' Kyrie Irving reacts courtside in the second half of...

Nets' Kyrie Irving reacts courtside in the second half of an NBA basketball game between the Nets and the Knicks at Barclays Center on Sunday, March 13, 2022. Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke

ORLANDO, Fla. — Coach Steve Nash said on Tuesday that he was surprised to learn the unvaccinated Kyrie Irving was not allowed in the Nets’ locker room during their home game against the Knicks on Sunday.

"I didn’t know," Nash said. "It never crossed my mind. I was unprepared for that event."

The "event" Nash was referring to was the NBA fining the team $50,000 on Monday because Irving entered the locker room at halftime of the Nets’ victory.

Irving is barred from playing in New York City under the COVID-19 private sector mandate. But he is permitted to attend Nets games as a fan, which he did for the first time on Sunday to great fanfare.

The NBA said the Nets broke both city and league COVID protocols by allowing Irving to enter the locker room. Irving was not fined.

Irving was eligible to play in the Nets' game against the Magic in Orlando on Tuesday night. Under current rules, he cannot play in the following three games, all in Brooklyn, starting with Wednesday’s tilt vs. Dallas.

Under the current rules, Irving is eligible to play in three of the Nets’ final 13 regular-season games (and one of the last eight).

And if the Nets meet the Toronto Raptors in the play-in tournament, Irving will be ineligible under current rules in both New York and Toronto. Going into Tuesday, Toronto was the seventh seed in the East with the Nets eighth. If that holds — or even if the teams flip positions — the Nets will meet the Raptors in the "seven-eight" play-in game without Irving.

Nash was asked if Irving plans to attend any more games in Brooklyn as a fan.

"That’s a question for Ky," Nash said. "He has wanted to come to support his teammates."

More Brooklyn Nets

Newsday LogoDON'T MISS THIS LIMITED-TIME OFFER1 5 months for only $1Save on Unlimited Digital Access