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#pounditWednesday, September 28, 2022

Reporter points out potential loophole for Nets with Kyrie Irving

Kyrie Irving wearing his Nets uniform

The Brooklyn Nets may have a nuclear option of sorts with the whole Kyrie Irving situation.

This week, Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News pointed out a loophole that the Nets could use to potentially get their All-Star guard Irving to play during home games. Bondy quoted ex-New York City mayor Bill de Blasio’s “Key to NYC” executive order, which is what is preventing the unvaccinated Irving for playing at Barclays Center. The executive order lists certain penalties for noncompliance.

From Bondy’s article:

First offense: Warning.

Second offense: $1,000 fine.

Third offense: $2,000 fine.

Fourth offense: $5,000 fine.

Fifth offense to infinity offenses: $5,000 fine.

Here is the link to Bondy’s full article, where he breaks down the pros, the cons, and the other points to consider about the Nets potentially defying the order, both from a basketball standpoint and a public health standpoint.

While de Blasio is no longer the mayor of New York City, having been replaced by Eric Adams on Jan. 1, the executive order is still in effect.

The Nets have 20 home games remaining this regular season as well as the possibility for a maximum of 16 more in the playoffs (if the Nets advance to the Finals, have homecourt advantage in every single round, and each series goes all seven games). That equals to $173,000 in fines at the most that the team would have to eat if they want to have Irving play in every single home game that they have left this season.

Of course, the executive order is nothing new. Brooklyn, having presumably done plenty of due diligence on the Irving situation, most likely knew about the loophole before the season even began.

But the Nets already let the genie out of the bottle by letting Irving return as a part-time player after previously refusing to accommodate him as such. At 25-14, they are also rounding into form as the NBA title contender that most have expected them to be. Thus, Brooklyn needs to build as much chemistry as possible the deeper they go into the season. As the season progresses, the Nets would also have less and less fines to pay for playing Irving at home.

Irving has faced plenty of criticism for returning on a part-time basis. But that could become a moot point if the Nets are willing to accept both the financial and the social costs of defying the local order for Irving.

Photo: Feb 1, 2020; Washington, District of Columbia, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving (11) during the second half against the Washington Wizards at Capital One Arena. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

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