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Kyrie Irving back in limbo as NY Mayor-elect Eric Adams now says he will not reconsider vaccine mandate

Nets guard Kyrie Irving looks on against the

Nets guard Kyrie Irving looks on against the Phoenix Suns during the first half at Barclays Center on Sunday, April 25, 2021. Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke

DETROIT – New York City mayor-elect Eric Adams appeared in a CNN interview on Friday and stated that he has no plans to end the local vaccine mandate. That was contrary to some previous comments he made suggesting he might end the mandate when he takes office in January, which would clear the way for Kyrie Irving to rejoin the Nets.

Irving remains unvaccinated and is not eligible to play games in New York, and that prompted the Nets to tell him he couldn’t play in road games or practice with the team until he is fully eligible and not available only for part-time duty. Nets coach Steve Nash recently said Irving would be welcomed back if the mandate is lifted.

After the Nets' win over the Pistons Friday night in Detroit, Nash was asked for his reaction to Adams’ reversal regarding the mandate.

"My reaction is no surprise," Nash said. "I didn’t expect the mayor to change the mandate. We’ve just got to focus on our team. If we could have Kyrie back, we’d be ecstatic. But we focus on our team, we keep building, we keep growing, and hopefully, we’ll be a really good team at the end of the year."

Earlier in the day, Nash was asked about another hot political topic. Suns owner Robert Sarver vehemently has denied allegations that he fostered a toxic work environment in which he displayed racist and misogynistic behavior on a regular basis. The allegations form the basis of a story published by ESPN that included more than 70 interviews with current or former Suns employees.

Nash spent much of his Hall of Fame career with the Suns and reportedly has a close relationship with Sarver, who has owned the team for 17 years. Asked if he had seen the ESPN story, Nash said, "Yeah, I was saddened to read that. That hasn’t been my experience with Robert, but I am obviously very sensitive to all those type of situations. It was disappointing."

When asked if he ever had witnessed any of the behavior described in the ESPN story, Nash shook his head and said, "No."

Claxton down and up

The Nets assigned center Nic Claxton to the Long Island Nets G League team for a workout and then recalled him. Claxton, who is recovering from a serious non-COVID illness missed his fifth straight game Friday night in Detroit. Nash said Claxton should return within a week to 10 days "to start ramping up again."

New York Sports