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Report: New York altering vaccine mandate, allowing Kyrie Irving to play Nets home games

Kyrie Irving in New York Knicks v Brooklyn Nets

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - MARCH 13: Kyrie Irving of the Brooklyn Nets attends the second half against the New York Knicks at Barclays Center on March 13, 2022 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. The Nets won 110-107. 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. (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images)

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Unvaccinated Kyrie Irving can already attend Nets homes games.

Soon, the star guard will actually play in them.

Shams Charania of The Athletic:

Despite calling the mandate unfair, New York Mayor Eric Adams insisted on following his own timeline for altering it. If the exemption is for only athletes and entertainers, hizzoner might have to answer for the unfairness of not allowing working-class New York to earn livelihoods if they choose to be unvaccinated. But the change comes just in time for the Nets, who were growing increasingly impatient.

Brooklyn gets Irving back for home games as postseason nears. He’s one of the league’s most talented players, and having him available about twice as often will be a massive boon. If they can integrate an ailing Ben Simmons, the Nets could really be onto something. Still, Kevin Durant and a full-time Irving make Brooklyn an especially dangerous low seed.

However, the Nets are on pace to face the Raptors in Toronto to open the play-in tournament. Irving remains ineligible to play in Canada.

Yet, even if losing a 7-8 play-in game, Brooklyn would still make the playoffs by winning at home against the 9-10 winner (currently projected to be Hornets vs. Hawks). Now, Irving is on track to play that potentially pivotal final play-in game – and home playoff games if the Nets get that far.