Irving has previously refused to disclose his vaccination status publicly, but on Tuesday, Nets general manager Sean Marks said that he will not play or train with the team until he meets the eligibility requirements.
“Kerry made a personal choice and we respect his personal right to choose. At present this choice limits his ability to become a full-time member of the team, and we will not allow any member of our team to participate in the availability part-time,” Max said.
“If you feel uncomfortable entering the season when you are promised to be exempt or not forced to vaccinate, what would you do?” Irving said. “This is not a problem before the start of the season. This is not something I foresee. I am prepared for this and have the opportunity to develop a strategy that is best for me and my family.”
Irving’s game state has been in doubt
But the team issued an ultimatum on Tuesday, stating that Irving will not be able to play any games for the Nets.
“The imperative is that we continue to build chemistry as a team and stay true to the values of unity and sacrifice that we have established for a long time,” Max said. “Our championship goals this season have not changed. In order to achieve these goals, every member of our organization must work in the same direction,” he said.
“Do you think I really want to give up my dream of chasing championships?” Irving said in a video on Wednesday. “Do you think I really just want to give up my job? Do you think I really just want to stay at home and don’t want to grow up with my teammates and study together?”
Owen said he has no intention of retiring. “Don’t believe that I will give up this game just to authorize the vaccine or keep it unvaccinated,” he said.
On Tuesday, the Nets will start their 2021-22 season in an away game against the defending champion Milwaukee Bucks.
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