NBA star could lose millions if not vaccinated

Author
AP,
Publish Date
Tue, 5 Oct 2021, 12:07PM
Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving. Photo / AP
Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving. Photo / AP

NBA star could lose millions if not vaccinated

Author
AP,
Publish Date
Tue, 5 Oct 2021, 12:07PM

Brooklyn Nets star Kyrie Irving faces losing more than NZ$500,000 a game he misses in the upcoming NBA season if he isn't vaccinated for Covid-19.

Local laws in San Francisco and New York mean that players for the Golden State Warriors, New York Knicks and Nets will have to be fully vaccinated against Covid-19 in order to play home games.

And if players like Irving are unable to play at home because of their vaccination status, they will not be paid for those games, the NBA said last week.

ESPN reports that the NBA and the National Basketball Players Association have agreed to a reduction in pay of 1/91.6 of a player's salary for each game an unvaccinated player misses.

Irving is set to earn US$34.9m ($NZ50.1m) this season for the Nets.

That means Irving would lose around US$380,000 per game (NZ$545,500) and totalling more than US$15 million (NZ$21.5m) if he goes through the entire season with a jab.

Irving did not appear in person at Nets media day in New York last week which suggests he is unvaccinated.

"I know that I'll be there every day no matter what and just be present for my teammates as one of the leaders on the team and be there for my growing tribe off the court," Irving said in a Zoom interview.

"I know the focus has to be at an all-time high, no distractions. This is the last thing I wanted to create, was more distractions and more hoopla and more drama around this. I'm doing my best to maintain this with good intentions and a good heart."

Despite missing the team media day, Irving travelled to San Diego for the start of the pre-season.

Nets general manager Sean Marks said he expects all the team's players to be vaccinated before the start of the season. The Nets' first home game of the NBA season is against the Charlotte Hornets on October 25.