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'It just looks stupid': Unvaxxed NBA star Kyrie Irving can't play Brooklyn Nets home games over city mandate — but can sit courtside and unmasked in home arena

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Image source: YouTube screenshot

Brooklyn Nets star Kevin Durant — who dropped 53 points in a home game against the New York Knicks on Sunday — is asking New York City Mayor Eric Adams why unvaccinated teammate Kyrie Irving is barred from playing in Brooklyn's home games but is allowed to watch his team's home games in the Nets' arena, ESPN reported.

Which is exactly what Irving did Sunday. In fact, Irving sat at a courtside seat, the network said.

What are the details?

"It's ridiculous," Durant said after the game. "I don't understand it at all. There's a few people in our arena that's unvaxxed, right? They lifted all of that in our arena, right? So I don't get it ... I don't get it. It just feels like at this point now, somebody's trying to make a statement or a point to flex their authority. But everybody out here is looking for attention, and that's what I feel like the mayor wants right now, is some attention. But he'll figure it out soon. He better."

Durant added, "But it just didn't make any sense. There's unvaxxed people in this building already. We got a guy who can come in the building, I guess, are they fearing our safety? I don't get it. We're all confused. Pretty much everybody 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. So hopefully, Eric, you got to figure this out."

What's more, Nets coach Steve Nash said Irving was with the team in the locker room at halftime and added that he didn't understand the city rules enough to explain why Irving could be on the floor and in the locker room but barred from sitting on the bench with his teammates.

Durant also told the mayor that he has to "figure something out, man, because it's looking crazy. Especially on national TV, and [Irving] can come to the game, but not play — come on, man. Hey, yo, Eric."

What else?

It's not as though Irving is completely barred from playing — when the Nets are on the road, he can play, and he has been. It's just the pesky New York City mandate that's keeping him from playing home games.

What's more, the Daily Wire pointed out that the night before the Knicks game, Irving attended the ACC Championship Game between Duke and Virginia Tech at Barclays Center — the Nets' home arena.

So why wasn't he allowed the next day to move down a few feet, suit up, and play for the Nets in the same arena? It's a question that even iconic opponent LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers posed:

“This law in New York, the oddity of it to me is that it only applies to home players," NBA Commissioner Adam Silver told WABC-TV. "I think if ultimately that rule is about protecting people who are in the arena, it just doesn't quite make sense to me that an away player who is unvaccinated can play in Barclays but the home player can't. To me that's a reason they should take a look at that ordinance"

How was Kyrie Irving able to sit court-side in Nets' win vs. Knicks? | NBA Today youtu.be

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