Brooklyn Nets' Kyrie Irving moves the ball during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Cleveland Cavaliers Sunday, May 16, 2021, in New York. Credit: Frank Franklin II / AP


While the Nets looked to get some reinforcements in bringing Kyrie Irving back as a part-time player, he’s just their latest player to enter health and safety protocols. Irving, who’s unvaccinated, was added to Brooklyn’s injury report Saturday, becoming the ninth current Net affected by COVID-19.

The Nets originally weren’t going to let Irving only play road games this season. Irving’s unable to play in home games because of local ordinances that disallow unvaccinated individuals to be in venues like the Barclays Center. The team said it didn’t want Irving to play on a part-time basis, where he would only suit up for road games and practice with the team.

But with the Nets needing bodies as their team has been ravaged by the virus and injuries, they changed their tune. Irving needed five-straight days of negative COVID-19 tests to rejoin the team. But he instead is now part of health and safety protocols, which the league uses for coronavirus-related issues.

The most recent Brooklyn player to enter the protocols besides Irving was Kevin Durant, who’s been one of the league leaders in minutes for the shorthanded Nets. Brooklyn looked to get some reinforcements by bringing in Langston Galloway on a hardship exception, but the personnel issues have been further exacerbated.

Story by Souichi Terada,