The Warriors were dealing with a situation where a starter -- Andrew Wiggins -- was facing the possibility of missing all home games during the 2021-22 NBA season due to local COVID-19 vaccine mandates.
But with the start of the NBA season a little more than a week away, the Brooklyn Nets now are planning to play all games at the Barclays Center without starting point guard Kyrie Irving, who hasn't received the COVID-19 vaccine and has made it clear he has no intention to get it.
San Francisco and New York City were the first two major US cities to implement vaccine mandates for large indoor gatherings, including sporting events. Los Angeles since has instituted the same requirements.
Nets coach Steve Nash spoke to local reporters Sunday and addressed the situation regarding Irving.
“I think we recognize he’s not playing home games (at the moment). So we’re going to have to for sure play without him this year. So it just depends on when, where and how much,” Nash said, via SNY's Ian Begley.
The Nets open the season with two road games before playing their first home game on Oct. 24 against the Charlotte Hornets.
A month into the season, the Warriors will visit Brooklyn for a primetime showdown against the Nets on Nov. 16. Assuming everyone is healthy, the Warriors will take on Kevin Durant and James Harden, but it increasingly looks like they won't see Irving.
Brooklyn visits the Bay Area to play the Warriors on Jan. 29, but there is an exemption for unvaccinated visiting players in San Francisco, so Irving would be eligible to play in that game.
Irving was allowed to practice with the Nets on Sunday because New York City ruled that the Nets' practice facility was a "private office building" rather than an indoor gym. But it doesn't appear that distinction will carry over to the Barclays Center for home games.
A lot can change between now and Nov. 16, but for the moment, the Warriors won't have to gameplan to stop one of the craftiest players in the NBA in about five weeks.