NBA rumors: New York City plans to phase out vaccine mandate, allowing Kyrie Irving to return for home games

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Mike Vorkunov: NYC Mayor Eric Adams came closer today to saying he'll get rid of vaccine mandate & phase out vaccine passport. Adams: "Yes, I can’t wait to get it done... I’m not going to get ahead of the science because I’m ready to get ahead of all of this & get back to a level of normalcy."
TD Garden, in alignment with the city of Boston, will end the requirement for proof of vaccination starting Monday, Feb. 21. The Boston mask mandate will continue to be in effect, requiring all guests 2 and older to wear a face mask at all times while indoors, except when actively eating or drinking.
Neil Dalal: Daniel Gafford is not on the Wizards injury report presumably indicating he will return from his bout with COVID tonight at Nets Rui Hachimura is listed as questionable with his right ankle sprain Kristaps Porzingis and Bradley Beal are out
Eric Koreen: In a statement, MLSE says it hasn’t determined whether or not its facilities will still mandate full vaccination in coming games. Says decision will be made "based on further discussions with public health officials."
Chase Hughes: Wes Unseld Jr. says Daniel Gafford tested positive twice yesterday and isn’t feeling well. Sounds like he is symptomatic as he enters protocols.
Scott Agness: Sabonis is close to exiting protocols. He’s been working out at his sweet home gym. Isaiah Jackson is making progress, participating in shooting drills, but remains out. Probably for another week. Carlisle said it was a “moderate” ankle sprain. Bitadze is questionable.
Anthony Chiang: Omer Yurtseven is out of protocols and joined the Heat in Charlotte for tomorrow's game vs. Hornets. Martin (Achilles), Strus (quad) and Tucker (knee) are questionable. Butler (toe) is probable. Morris, Okpala, Oladipo and Silva are out.
Marc J. Spears: Hornets say Hornets F Gordon Hayward has been cleared from the NBA’s Health & Safety Protocols but did not travel with the team to Boston. Hayward will be listed as out for tomorrow’s game and will remain in Charlotte for conditioning as he returns from H&S Protocols.
James Boyd: Rick Carlisle said he’s not sure how long Domantas Sabonis will be out. Gone at least six days or if he registers two negative PCR tests 24 hours apart. #Pacers
Andy Larsen: Donovan Mitchell didn't go through shootaround today due to his concussion. Also asked acting head coach Alex Jensen about Quin Snyder's symptoms: "He's feeling alright, it's not too bad, but that could change."
Damichael Cole: Taylor Jenkins said Tyus Jones and Kyle Anderson have both been cleared from health and safety protocols. Jones is listed as out while Anderson is questionable. Jenkins mentioned conditioning as to why Jones is still listed as out. Anderson will go though pregame warmups.
A majority of fans approve of how Irving has handled his decision, the survey conducted for ESPN by Hart Research found. Overall, more fans approve of how the Brooklyn Nets star has handled his vaccination status (45%) than disapprove (40%, with 15% saying they don't know). Those numbers climb to 46% approval, 41% disapproval and 13% don't know for self-described NBA fans.
Overall, the survey found that two in three sports fans want to see athletes vaccinated (66% to 34%), 55% agree that athletes have a responsibility to publicly disclose whether they are vaccinated or not (36% disagreed; 8% did not have a feeling one way or the other), and 59% think unvaccinated players are hurting their team because they are more likely to miss games (33% disagree; 8% don't have a feeling one way or the other).
Damichael Cole: Desmond Bane is officially active today. Bane missed the last three games due to health and safety protocols. Taylor Jenkins said the Grizzlies will be smart, but Bane will not be on a minutes restriction.
Scott Agness: T.J. McConnell has cleared health and safety protocols so he’s back on the team bench after being away for the last four games. Pacers don’t have any players in the protocols. TJM is still rehabbing from hand surgery almost two months ago.
Anthony Chiang: Tyler Herro is listed as probable for tomorrow's game vs. Knicks. Kyle Lowry, Markieff Morris, KZ Okpala and Victor Oladipo remain out for the Heat.
On any night, John Stockton’s name and No. 12 jersey can be seen hanging from a banner in the south-facing rafters at McCarthey Athletic Center. But Gonzaga and its most prominent alumnus are at odds over the school’s mask mandate, leading Gonzaga to suspend Stockton’s season tickets at home basketball games. In an interview with The Spokesman-Review on Saturday at The Warehouse – the Spokane-based gym Stockton has owned since 2002 – the NBA’s all-time assists and steals leader, and one of only two players who’s had his number retired by Gonzaga, confirmed the university’s decision to suspend his season tickets for failing to comply with the mask mandate.
Stockton said he’s conscious of his image, especially around his hometown , where he’s resided since a 19-year Hall of Fame career with the Jazz ended in 2003. The 59-year-old said he is also aware of how his widely circulated opinions may be received by fans who have accepted the evidence regarding the efficacy of vaccines and the effectiveness of mask wearing to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. “I’m very concerned about my image,” Stockton said. “I understand I’m a public figure and they show me at every game, so they understand it as well. I take that responsibility very seriously, both when I’m around campus and when I’m not. It’s a lifestyle, so of course I do.”
During the interview, Stockton asserted that more than 100 professional athletes have died of vaccination. He also said tens of thousands of people – perhaps millions – have died from vaccines. “I think it’s highly recorded now, there’s 150 I believe now, it’s over 100 professional athletes dead – professional athletes – the prime of their life, dropping dead that are vaccinated, right on the pitch, right on the field, right on the court,” Stockton said in the interview. Such claims are dubious and not backed by science, nor are they deemed credible by medical professionals, according to, a project of The Annenberg Public Policy Center, and research reported by PolitiFact, which is run by the Poynter Institute.
Tim MacMahon: Backup center Hassan Whiteside has cleared health and safety protocols and is questionable due to conditioning. All-NBA big man Rudy Gobert (left ankle soreness) is also questionable.
TJ McBride: Jeff Green (left quad contusion) is now on the injury report and is questionable. JaMychal Green (H&S protocols) has been upgraded to questionable. Murray, Porter and Cancar are all out.
Law Murray: Clippers list both Nicolas Batum (health and safety protocols) and Marcus Morris Sr. (Personal) as questionable for tomorrow night in Philadelphia. Both missed last night's loss in Denver. Paul George, Kawhi Leonard, Jason Preston out with recovery. Johnson/Scrubb in the G
Marc J. Spears: G League Ignite says NBA Veteran CJ Miles has rejoined the team. Also, head coach Jason Hart and players Amauri Hardy and Scoot Henderson have entered Health & Safety Protocols. Assistant coach CJ Williams will serve as the team’s interim head coach during Hart’s absence.
Ryan Blackburn: JaMychal Green remains OUT for tomorrow's game against the Memphis Grizzlies. He's still in health and safety protocols. No one else is on the injury report other than Murray, Porter, and Vlatko. Bryn Forbes is also listed on the official roster. Perhaps he makes his debut???
Anthony Chiang: Tyler Herro (protocols) and Kyle Lowry (personal reasons) out for Heat tomorrow vs. Hawks. Markieff Morris, KZ Okpala and Victor Oladipo also remain out for the Heat,
Andrew Greif: Luke Kennard has been updated to questionable for tomorrow vs. Denver, the team says. He hasn’t played since Dec. 31. He shot 48% from 3 in Dec. and Clippers need his shooting on this 8-game road trip.
Ryan Blackburn: Via Nuggets injury report, JaMychal Green is still OUT due to health and safety protocols. Austin Rivers is off the injury report and should be available tomorrow. So is Markus Howard, who was recalled from his G League assignment. Gonna be a fun roster for tomorrow IMO.
Kyle Goon: The Lakers say two-way contract player Sekou Doumbouya has entered the league’s COVID-19 protocols. He’s been with the South Bay Lakers.
Eric Walden: Elijah Hughes is AVAILABLE for the Jazz tonight. Hassan Whiteside and Jared Butler remain OUT.
Orlando Magic coach Jamahl Mosley expressed disappointment over the timing of his entrance into the health and safety protocols on Monday -- his first Martin Luther King Jr. Day as an NBA head coach. The Magic are hosting the Portland Trail Blazers, and two of the NBA's five Black head coaches who are in their first season -- Mosley and Chauncey Billups -- expected to be on the sidelines in Orlando on Monday night.
Ky Carlin: Wizards acting coach Joseph Blair says Bradley Beal is a game time decision today. He has cleared the protocols, but the team’s medical staff needs to make sure that he is ready to go.
Paul Garcia: Zach Collins has been sent to the G-League on assignment, a sign he’s close to returning Tre Jones out vs PHX (H&S protocols) Wieskamp, Cacok with Austin
Keith Smith: Marcus Smart remains OUT for tomorrow afternoon's game vs New Orleans. Smart is the only Celtics player on the injury report.
Brad Townsend: Porzingis will return tonight, Harrison confirms.
Dane Moore: Jordan McLaughlin has entered COVID protocols, the team says. In response, the Timberwolves have elevated McKinley Wright from the G League.
James Edwards III: Frank Jackson is OUT tomorrow against Phoenix as he works his way back from COVID. Rodney McGruder is back with the team but is OUT tomorrow, too.
Researchers found that among the 70 identified omicron cases detected two or more days after a negative or inconclusive test result, 39% were still infectious after five days, declining to 33% on day six and 22% on day seven. The paper used data from 10,324 PCR tests conducted among NBA players and employees between July 10, 2021, and January 10, 2022.
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June 29, 2022 | 3:44 am EDT Update
While only Dallas can offer a five-year contract and still has the ability to put a richer offer on the table than New York, sources indicate that the Mavericks don’t expect to be able to sway Brunson at this point. It is more likely, sources say, that Dallas will try to engage the Knicks in sign-and-trade talks to try to salvage a measure of compensation (and perhaps a trade exception) by trying to collaborate with New York on a deal.