Seven-time All-Star, Irving has so far turned down the shot and Nets general manager Sean Marks has said he will not play or train with the team until he completes the eligibility conditions.
The NBA had warned the Nets as well as the New York Knicks and Golden State Warriors that new Covid-19 policies set by local governments would ban any unvaccinated player from participating in home games in New York and San Francisco.
Speaking on Monday, Silver told reporters he understood the vaccine’s mandate and urged Irving to reassess his decision.
“I think it’s perfectly appropriate that New York and other cities have passed laws that require people who work and visit arenas to be vaccinated,” Silver said.
“I hope Kyrie (Irving), despite his feelings for the shot, finally decides to get the shot because I would love to see him play basketball this season.
“And I would love to see the Brooklyn Nets have their full complement of players on the field.”
“Don’t think I’m going to give up on this game”
In an Instagram Live video last week, Irving said “no one should be forced to do anything with their body” and that his decision was not politically motivated.
Although he was told he couldn’t play for the Nets part-time this season, Irving said he had no plans to retire.
“Don’t think I’m going to give up this game for a vaccination mandate or to stay unvaccinated,” said the 29-year-old.
On the eve of the new season, Silver wouldn’t question if the situation was right for Irving, but supported the mandate to vaccinate in some cities in the United States.
“I’m not sure fairness is the right way to approach it because there is nothing fair about this virus,” he said.
“It’s indiscriminate in terms of impact, and I think it’s perfectly appropriate that New York and other cities have passed laws that require people who work and visit arenas to be vaccinated.”
Silver says about 96% of NBA players have already been vaccinated, which means restrictions around the new NBA season have been relaxed.
The Nets open their 2021-22 season on the road against defending NBA champion Milwaukee Bucks on October 19.
As the Nets take on the Bucks, the LA Lakers will host the Golden State Warriors with 75th season games scheduled in 215 countries and territories in 50 different languages.
Excitement is already building with fans debating who will be crowned champion this season, and the players are even getting involved.
LeBron James, 36, told reporters he had read the jokes and seen the mocking memes that say the Lakers are too old to win this time around.
“I’m laughing a bit about it. In fact, I’m really laughing about it, I’m not just saying that,” he told reporters on Monday.
“Some memes and some jokes have been extremely funny. And then part of it is just to get people to read the tabloids.
“We do our own story. One thing we do know, we have a group of guys who have been in this league for a while and who know what it takes to win.
“This is the company we are in, winning and doing it all the time, not just occasionally. So I look forward to that.”
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