According to league insider Adrian Wojnarowski, the Nets have decided to bring Kyrie Irving back while tackling a COVID-19 outbreak within the organization.
ESPN Sources: Given the evolving circumstances of the Brooklyn season – including injuries, covid losses, and undue stress on their Superstar players – the Nets All-Star Guardians are bringing back Kyrie Irving as a part-time player for games outside of New York.
– Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) December 17, 2021
Irving’s return is a policy reversal over the staunch decision made by General Manager Sean Marks and owner Joe Tsai in October not to let Irving play until he fulfills New York City’s COVID-19 vaccine mandates. Now the Nets will allow Irving to return as a part-time player amid a string of injuries and an ongoing outbreak among multiple teams that caused much drama in the middle of the season.
Tsai, Marks, manager Steve Nash and key players reportedly supported the decision to bring Irving back. ESPN says Irving was dying to return and play street games with the Nets. However, Woj reports that it is Irving’s return quota that he passed a series of virus tests and that Irving and Brooklyn agreed on a plan that would allow him to increase his conditioning to return to court.
The Nets return to the field for a three-game homestand against Magic on Saturday before embarking on a road trip through the Western Conference that begins against the Trail Blazers on December 23 and ends against the Clippers.