New York City still isn’t allowing Kyrie Irving to play Brooklyn Nets home games due to its vaccine mandate. But the Nets are now allowing Irving to play road games. The NBA is also allowing Irving to return after clearing him of coronavirus.
Irving’s next eligible game: Wednesday against the Pacers in Indiana.
That’ll apparently be the one.
Shams Charania of The Athletic:
Brooklyn Nets star Kyrie Irving is expected to make his season debut Wednesday on the road against the Indiana Pacers, sources tell @TheAthletic @Stadium. After missing the Nets’ first 35 games of the season, Irving has targeted Wednesday for his return.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) January 3, 2022
Irving playing only road games will be a fascinating experiment.
Given widespread coronavirus-related interruptions throughout the league, will Brooklyn really be at a chemistry disadvantage with Irving as a part-time player? That should be more than offset by the talent boost. This was always the Nets’ strategy: Overwhelm other problems with star power. It’s not a bad plan.
Besides Indiana, Brooklyn’s only road game the next two weeks is the following Wednesday against the Chicago Bulls. Though the Nets’ schedule becomes more road-heavy later this month, through February and into March, Irving can’t play the Knicks in New York, Raptors in Toronto or seemingly the Wizards in Washington. So, his availability will remain pretty limited.
But his return is imminent – for however long it lasts.