Meanwhile the franchise remains in the dark less and less optimistic about his COVID-19 vaccine plans, according to an ESPN report. Team brass is unsure how far it will go to accommodate him if he remains unvaccinated.
After he was barred from attending the team's media day in person because of his status in violation of New York City's COVID-19 vaccine requirement, the Nets guard missed practice on Tuesday for the same reason. He'll continue to do so as long as he's in violation of the city's protocols.
Head coach Steve Nash addressed Irving's status after the team's first practice of the season at its Brooklyn facility on Tuesday, telling reporters the team won't move its practices out of New York City, where Irving wouldn't be banned.
"No, this is our home," Nash said, per ESPN's Ohm Youngmisuk. "This is where we're going to practice and we have almost a whole group."
Irving's absence and continued vaccine resistance arrives as the Nets have "waning" hope that he'll receive a COVID-19 vaccine, according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski and Brian Windhorst.
Irving has repeatedly declined to address his vaccine status amid reports that he's not vaccinated and social media likes and follows of conspiracy theories linking the COVID-19 vaccine to secret societies and satan. The NBA doesn't mandate vaccines for players, but local regulations in New York City and San Francisco require that Nets, Knicks and Warriors players be vaccinated to gain access to indoor public gatherings, which includes practice and games.
Per an agreement between the NBA and the player's union, Irving and any other player in violation of a municipality's COVID-19 vaccine requirements will forfeit 1/91.6th of his salary for every game missed. For Irving, that adds up to $381,000 a game. If he were to miss all 41 of Brooklyn's home games because of his vaccine status, that would add up to $15.6 million forfeited based on his $34.9 million salary.
If Irving continues to decline a vaccine, the Nets will face a decision on whether to play him in road games or sideline him altogether. Per Tuesday's report, they've not yet decided what they'll do in that case.