Photo: Getty Images
  /  12.24.2021

Kevin Durant is one of seven Brooklyn Nets players who will be sidelined during their Christmas Day game against the Los Angeles Lakers.

On Friday (Dec. 24), the team announced that Durant, Kyrie Irving, Cam Thomas, LaMarcus Aldridge, Kessler Edwards, Day’Ron Sharpe and David Duke Jr. were in COVID-19 health and safety protocols. The Net’s last three games were postponed due to the outbreak on the team. Irving has yet to play a game since he was added back to the roster as a part-time player.

Earlier this month, the Nets allowed Irving to come back to their roster due to “unfolding circumstances” of the team’s season, “including injuries, COVID losses and an inordinate minutes load on their superstar players,” according to ESPN.

Irving was previously banned from playing and practicing with the team after he refused to get the COVID-19 vaccine, which was required by the state of New York. “Given the evolving nature of the situation and after thorough deliberation, we have decided Kyrie Irving will not play or practice with the team until he is eligible to be a full participant,” the team’s General Manager Sean Marks said in a statement at the time. “Kyrie has made a personal choice and we respect his individual right to choose.”

Following the ban, the point guard took to Instagram Live to publicly speak about his decision to remain unvaccinated and clear up rumors about him retiring.

“I’m staying grounded in what I believe in,” Irving said during the 20-minute video. “It’s not about being anti-vaxx or about being on one side or the other. It’s about being true to what feels good for me. I’m still uncertain about a lot of things and that’s ok. If I’m going to be demonized about having more questions and taking my time to make a decision with my life, then that’s just what it is.”

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