Brooklyn Nets stars Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving have been included in the NBA’s health and safety protocol, the team confirmed to CNN Saturday.
Durant and Irving become the eighth and ninth Nets members to be shortlisted this week. As of Monday, star guard James Harden of the Nets, along with forwards Paul Millsap, LaMarcus Aldridge, DeAndre’ Bembry, James Johnson and bodyguards Jevon Carter and Bruce Bowen, were also included in the list.
Some context: The news comes a day after the team announced Irving would rejoin to practice and play in games outside of New York.
Irving, who has said he is not vaccinated against Covid-19, has been sidelined this season after the team ruled he can’t participate in practice or games until he is eligible to become a full participant. New York City local policy prohibits any unvaccinated player from playing home games.
On Saturday, Brooklyn announced it had signed James Ennis III and protected Shaquille Harrison to a 10-day contract as it tackles the Covid-19 outbreak.
The Nets are scheduled to host the Orlando Magic on Saturday.
Since Irving had left the team, he was required to test negative for 5 consecutive days in order to be allowed to rejoin the team. Listing indicates that Irving has either tested positive, been offered an inconclusive test, or is considered a close relative of someone who has tested positive. This is also the case with Durant.
Starting December 26, according to new tournament protocols, all players and staff will be tested on game days. Players who have received a booster shot or recently recovered from the virus will be exempted. The team did not specify whether Irving and Durant tested positive or if they were considered close relatives.
Players included in the NBA’s health and safety protocols must test negative twice in a 24-hour period.