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After game, Durant takes aim at NYC mayor over current vaccine mandate

New York Knicks v Brooklyn Nets

BROOKLYN, NY - MARCH 13: Kyrie Irving #11 of the Brooklyn Nets talks to Kevin Durant #7 of the Brooklyn Nets after the game against the New York Knicks on March 13, 2022 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2022 NBAE (Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images)

NBAE via Getty Images

Kevin Durant was done dropping 53 on the Knicks, but he wasn’t done taking shots.

Durant took aim at New York City mayor Eric Adams — consistently referring to Adams by his first name — over the current vaccination mandate in the city (which impacts Nets home games in Brooklyn). While this week New York dropped its proof of vaccination requirement for fans to attend games at the Barclays Center (or any large arena, or dine indoors, or enter other businesses), it still has a mandate in place for workers in those arenas/restaurants/etc. Those workers must be vaccinated to be in the building.

What that means in practice is unvaccinated Kyrie Irving can sit courtside without a mask and watch the Nets play the Knicks — which he did Sunday, then shook hands with the players postgame — but he can’t play in the game.

“It’s ridiculous. I don’t understand it at all,” Durant said, then almost spoke directly to the mayor (quotes via the Associated Press)...

“But he’ll figure it out soon. He better. But it just didn’t make any sense. Like, there’s unvaxxed people in this building already. We got a guy who can come into the building — I guess, are they fearing our safety?

“Like, I don’t get it. Yeah, 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.”

It is unclear when Adams — in consultation with the New York City Department of Health — might lift the workers’ vaccination mandate. There is optimism in the Nets organization that will happen before the playoffs begin next month, but nothing is assured.