Irving and his vaccination stance have been an elephant…

Irving and his vaccination stance have been an elephant in the room for some time, but Steve Nash insisted he hadn’t spoken to his All-Star point guard about the prospect of being unable to play or even practice at home, with the Nets’ HSS Training Center also falling under the city guidelines. “No, I haven’t talked to him about it,” Nash said when asked by The Post. “I know he’s been great in camp, playing well and I’m excited to have him back on the floor. I’ve missed watching him play, coaching him. So, yeah, it’s just been great to have him back. So I really haven’t been involved with that side of things.”

More on Coronavirus Vaccine

With the Nets seen as one of the biggest favorites for the NBA championship, to see their run potentially derailed or hampered by something non-basketball related is definitely a shame. That reality is not lost on New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, who sent a plea to Kyrie Irving to get the Covid-19 vaccine. “I’m a fan of Kyrie. I would just appeal to him — get vaccinated,” de Blasio said on the Nets star. “Your fans want to see you. We all want you back. Your teammates want you back. Look, there are teams now that are 100% vaccinated. That’s a great example to everybody else.”
Across the Atlantic Ocean, Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez appeared to reference Irving during a session of parliament over the star’s purported backing of COVID-19 vaccine conspiracy theories. “I have been a basketball fan for many years, and I follow the NBA basketball league a lot,” Sanchez told the parliament. “Nowadays, there is a problem in the NBA itself. There are several players who have spoken out against vaccinations. “There is an NBA star who says he does not want to vaccinate because there is a conspiracy to vaccinate blacks and connect them with a computer that has a Satanic plan. This is verbatim.” To be clear, it’s not exactly verbatim and Irving has not said that.
Luka Doncic, who earlier this year said he contracted COVID-19 last offseason, was asked point-blank on Monday whether he is vaccinated. “I mean, yeah, but I want to keep it private,” he said. “Everybody should have their own choices, what they do.”
When asked if Irving was letting fans down, de Blasio declined to go there. “It’s not time to say that yet. We have weeks and weeks before the season begins,” he said. “I think his fans are going to say to him, ‘C’mon, join us, help us, let’s keep everyone safe — keep your own family safe, keep your teammates safe, keep your community safe.”
Texas Sen. Ted Cruz (R) said that he “stands” with Brooklyn Nets star Kyrie Irving and other NBA players who have shared their hesitancy about the COVID-19 vaccine. “I stand with Kyrie Irving. I stand with Andrew Wiggins. I stand with Bradley Beal. I stand with Jonathan Isaac,” Cruz wrote on Twitter on Wednesday, along with the hashtag #YourBodyYourChoice.
Cruz also applauded Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James for his comments Tuesday, when the superstar shared that he decided to get vaccinated after researching it, but didn't intend to try to influence others to follow his lead. "I’ve never said this before: I agree with @KingJames,” Cruz said in the Twitter thread. “With his box-office power, he could be even more courageous—he could SOLVE the problem—by saying: “I stand w/ my fellow players. And I won’t play in any arena that bans another NBA player because they make a personal healthcare choice.”
Nuggets forward Michael Porter Jr. isn’t comfortable taking the vaccine for COVID-19 and is adamant there shouldn’t be a mandate for NBA players to take it. Porter, in an interview with The Denver Post, said his opinion is based on two separate bouts with COVID. “For me, I had COVID twice, I saw how my body reacted, and although the chances are slim, with the vaccine, there’s a chance you could have a bad reaction to it,” Porter said. “For me, I don’t feel comfortable”
Tim MacMahon: Mavs reserve G Trey Burke confirms he is not vaccinated and says he’s “not trying to rush into a decision.” He says he wants to do more research. Asked what more research he feels he needs to do, Burke mentioned potential long-term effects. Mavs want 100% vaccination rate.
According to the Census’ Household Survey, about 90 percent of adult Americans who earn $150,000 or more a year have been fully vaccinated. Given that every NBA player earns more than that, I think it’s safe to say that a 90 percent vaccination rate is the least we should expect. In other words, telling fans not to lose sight of the fact that 90 percent of the league is vaccinated is like when I tell my upset girlfriend not to lose sight of the fact that 90 percent of my piss made it into the toilet.
Ian Begley: In statement, NBPA executive director Michele Roberts notes that over 90% of players are fully vaccinated. “The real story is not why vaccination isn’t mandated in the NBA. The real story for proponents of vaccination is how can we emulate the Players in the NBA.” Full statement: pic.twitter.com/DS46qtvju4
Asked what makes him “hesitant” to get the vaccine, Isaac started by recalling his own experiences, having already been infected with Covid-19. “I would start with I’ve had Covid in the past and so our understanding of antibodies, of natural immunity has changed a great deal from the onset of the pandemic and is still evolving,” Isaac said. “I understand that the vaccine would help if you have Covid, you’ll be able to have less symptoms from contracting it. But with me having Covid in the past and having antibodies, with my current age group and physical fitness level, it’s not necessarily a fear of mine. “Taking the vaccine, like I said, it would decrease my chances of having a severe reaction, but it does open me up to the albeit rare chance but the possibility of having an adverse reaction to the vaccine itself.
Ted Cruz: 1/2 Jonathan Isaac is absolutely right: "It is my belief that the vaccine status of every person should be their own choice, completely up to them, without bullying, without being pressured, without being forced into doing so."

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Same with Bazemore, who you’ll remember said last spring he would not be taking the vaccine. On Tuesday, he said, among other things, “I’m a big energy person, and I didn’t feel the right energy toward it.” This is where the Lakers organization and, specifically, Rob Pelinka deserve a ton of credit. Bazemore cited a conversation with Pelinka during free agency in which the Lakers’ vice president of basketball managed to persuade the 10th year swingman it was in his best interest. “He laid it down to me in the most fairly honest way that I ever heard,” Bazemore said. “To pass up an opportunity like this to be on a roster with so many greats, especially during my era, it would be a hard opportunity pass up.”
Although the 100 percent vaccination rate the Lakers talked about would seem to suggest Howard either is fully inoculated, has received one or more shots or has committed to, he declined to reveal his vaccination status. “I’m just going to keep that out and not talk about any of the vaccine,” he said. “I’m sorry. I can’t do it. I have a lot of opinions, but not on camera. I have nothing to say.” Smiling, he invoked “HIPAA laws.” As I said at the time, “That’s not what HIPAA is, but OK.”
Tim Reynolds: The NBA has given teams a draft of the health and safety protocols for this season. As reported, unvaccinated players will be tested (almost) daily, vaccinated players will not be. Unvaxxed players will also be limited in how much they can be around vaxxed players in team areas.
Tim Reynolds: LeBron on vaccinations and the Lakers planning to get to 100% by the start of the season: "It was never a team discussion, but I think at the end of the day you're figuring out ways to always be available and protect one another."
Kyle Goon: Anthony Davis: "I think everybody on the team is vaccinated, if I'm not mistaken. We all have families. I did it for my family. ... I just wanted to make sure I'm always protecting my family, first and foremost."
Chase Hughes: Bradley Beal clarified today after yesterday’s comments that he does not believe “the vaccine is bad” and says he doesn’t want anyone to think he was advocating against others getting them.
In some instances, vaccinated staffers say they're concerned about the health risks of being exposed to unvaccinated players. In others, staffers say they're upset that players aren't facing the same vaccine requirements as most team staff and referees. In still others, there's animosity toward the league itself for not imposing such a mandate.
One vaccinated Western Conference strength and conditioning coach said they're concerned about a potential breakthrough case that could affect family members. "For me, it's a problem because my parents are very sick, and I'm in close contact with these guys and I would hate to bring this home and my parents pass away from it," the coach told ESPN.
Health and safety protocols for vaccinated and unvaccinated players have not yet been finalized, league sources said. But it's expected, as ESPN previously reported, that unvaccinated players will face more testing and be asked to sit in separate areas of team meetings, team meals, locker rooms, on the team plane and bus.
But a second league source also tied to training staffs noted that many peers "believe the league is prioritizing the athletes' lives over their own. On the opposite side, some members don't want to force anyone to vaccinate if they feel uncomfortable with it, but it should be a standard set across the board instead of the league one way and the players the other."
NBA insiders say they’re not aware of any games being missed because of a reaction to the vaccine. Beal, though, did miss time. His case of COVID cost him a spot in the Olympics and the chance to compete for a gold medal.
There’s still time. The Warriors’ regular-season home opener is three weeks from Thursday and it’ll take two weeks from a Johnson & Johnson shot (the one he’d be offered, per sources) to be fully vaccinated. So Oct. 7 is the consequential date. He is eligible to practice this week and appear in the first four preseason games, since the San Francisco rule doesn’t enact until Oct. 13.
Irving couldn’t participate in the on-site media day festivities, and league sources believe Irving will wind up taking the vaccine, citing influence from his close friend and teammate Kevin Durant. “That doesn’t mean that I’m putting any limits on the future of me being able to join the team,” Irving said later.
According to Rolling Stone, Isaac was “studying Black history and watching Donald Trump’s press conferences” to inform his vaccine stance. (Former President Donald J. Trump was vaccinated in January, but states that he won in the 2020 election have much lower vaccination rates than those that favored President Biden.) On Monday, Isaac disputed the magazine’s characterization of him. “I’m not anti-vax. I’m not anti-medicine. I’m not anti-science. I didn’t come to my current vaccination status by studying Black history or watching Donald Trump press conferences,” Isaac said. “I have nothing but the utmost respect for every health care worker and person in Orlando and all across the world that have worked tirelessly to keep us safe.”
Evan Barnes: Desmond Bane had no problem getting vaccinated against Covid-19 since he grew up getting vaccines for other viruses. “Whatever happens down the road, I’ll be fine knowing that I was one of those people that was at least trying to save the other people”
Dieter Kurtenbach: Nemanja Bjelica to Andrew Wiggins in the hallway: “Get the shot." Wiggins: Tough crowd in there, man.
Monte Poole: 'I know. And it's my problem, not yours.' Warriors F Andrew Wiggins, reminded that being unvaccinated could cost him millions in salary.
Ben Rohrbach: Bradley Beal on his bout with COVID-19, which cost him the Olympics: "I didn’t get sick at all. I lost my smell. That’s it.” Beal adds that no one will talk about adverse reactions to the vaccine and how it impacts player health. No NBA player has missed time due to the vaccine.
Chris Herrington: Ja Morant shares that he is vaccinated. (As did Desmond Bane earlier.) "I got vaccinated early. ... I have a baby girl. I travel a lot. I can't bring COVID back to her."
Storyline: Coronavirus Vaccine
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Knicks trade Nerlens Noel, Alec Burks to Detroit

Adrian Wojnarowski: The Knicks are trading center Nerlens Noel and guard Alec Burks to the Pistons, sources tell ESPN. The Knicks will unload $19M more in salary, clearing the way for cap space to try and sign free agent guard Jalen Brunson.