Kevin Durant Is Upset With NYC Mayor Eric Adams Over City’s Vaccine Policy

Unvaccinated Kyrie Irving is allowed to attend games at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, but he's not permitted to play

Kevin Durant of the Brooklyn Nets encourages the crowd to keep booing. The star player recently criticized NYC Mayor Eric Adams for the city policy that doesn't allow unvaxxed teammate Kyrie Irving to play home games.
Kevin Durant of the Brooklyn Nets encourages the crowd to keep booing.
Elsa/Getty Images

After making 51.4% of his shots while dropping 53 points in Brooklyn to defeat the “visiting” New York Knicks on Sunday, Nets star Kevin Durant landed a few more shots while discussing New York City’s vaccine policy during his postgame interview.

Durant, who recently returned from injury and has scored 25 or more points in four out of his last five games, pointed out how illogical it is that his unvaccinated teammate Kyrie Irving is allowed to attend games in Brooklyn but isn’t allowed to play in them, due to the city’s rules about vaccinations for workers. Irving, along with friends and family members, was at Sunday’s game.

For clarity, this is New York City’s rule about vaccine requirements in all workplaces: “Workers in New York City who perform in-person work or interact with the public in the course of business must show proof that they have received a COVID-19 vaccine. Businesses may not allow any unvaccinated workers to work at their workplace. A workplace is considered any location — including a vehicle — where you work in the presence of at least one other person.”

Addressing NYC Mayor Eric Adams by name while discussing the issue, Durant called the situation “ridiculous” and said the policy ” just looks stupid.”

“I don’t understand it at all,” he said. “There’s a few people in our arena that’s unvaxxed, right? They lifted all of that in our arena, right? So I don’t get it … I don’t get it. It just feels like at this point now, somebody’s trying to make a statement or a point to flex their authority. But everybody out here is looking for attention and that’s what I feel like the mayor wants right now, is some attention. But he’ll figure it out soon. He better. Eric, you got to figure something out, man, because it’s looking crazy. Especially on national TV, and he can come to the game, but not play — come on, man. Hey, yo, Eric.”

To be clear, Durant has a point. It certainly doesn’t make much sense that Irving was allowed to watch courtside without a mask but was unable to play against the crosstown rival Knicks. But, by the same token, it also doesn’t make much sense that Irving just hasn’t gotten vaccinated at this point and blaming Adams for that is “ridiculous.” It’s the city’s policy, not the mayor’s, and if the Nets and Irving really want him to play they can just ignore it and pay the fine.

That probably isn’t going to happen this late in the game and it does seem likely that Irving will be back on the floor in Brooklyn soon, but Durant can blame his teammate, not Mayor Adams, until that happens.

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