NBA: Unvaccinated Irving misses Brooklyn practice

Kyrie Irving would lose out on US$381,000 per game, ESPN reported. PHOTO: AFP

NEW YORK (REUTERS) - Seven-time All-Star Kyrie Irving did not participate in the Brooklyn Nets' first practice at home on Tuesday (Oct 5), head coach Steve Nash told reporters, as the NBA began to feel the impact of local Covid-19 vaccine restrictions.

"Kyrie's not here today," said Nash. "No further update. We support him. We support him, we're here for him. If things change then - if there's a resolution, we're here for him."

The National Basketball Association has not mandated vaccines for players but must nonetheless abide by local restrictions in New York City and San Francisco, where players will have to sit out home games if they are not inoculated.

Irving has reportedly not been vaccinated and was unable to attend media day last month due to health and safety protocols, according to ESPN.

Golden State Warriors forward Andrew Wiggins' requested a religious exemption from the vaccine, as the city of San Francisco has a requirement for large indoor events. His request was denied last month and he later received the shot.

The league has said players who are unable to compete due to local mandates will miss out on pay.

Irving, who won the NBA championship in 2016 with the Cleveland Cavaliers, would lose out on US$381,000 (S$518,000) per game, ESPN reported on Monday.

NBA players who are not vaccinated will also have to comply with a long list of restrictions to take part in the upcoming season, according to a memo obtained by Reuters last week. The season is set to begin Oct 19.

Join ST's Telegram channel and get the latest breaking news delivered to you.