Nets GM: New York City vaccine mandate would block ‘a couple’ players from court

If the season started today, the Brooklyn Nets would have a few problems.

Nets general manager Sean Marks told reporters on Tuesday that some of his team’s players would be unable to enter the Barclays Center due to New York City’s recent vaccine mandate.

From ESPN:

«Regarding if they could play today, I can’t comment on who could play and so forth,» Marks said Tuesday in the team’s preseason news conference. «There would obviously be a couple people missing from that picture.

«I won’t get into who it is, but we feel confident in the following several days before camp everybody would be allowed to participate and so forth.»

When asked if he believed the issue would be resolved by the beginning of the regular season, Marks reportedly said «correct.» It’s unclear if that means the players in question will get vaccinated or something will change with the mandate.

Knicks, Warriors also affected by NBA’s vaccine decision

New York’s vaccine mandate went into effect on Sept. 13, requiring all people over the age of 12 to have proof of vaccination to enter «certain covered premises» in the city, unless they have an approved medical or religious exemption.

The NBA informed teams earlier this month that players would not receive an exemption from local vaccine mandates preventing unvaccinated people from entering their home arenas. At the time, that applied to three teams: the Nets, the New York Knicks and the Golden State Warriors.

For those reasons, Marks said he has had «candid conversations» with players hesitant about the vaccine.

From ESPN:

«Obviously I can’t get into details for a variety of reasons, whether it’s HIPAA violations or whoever it may be, [but] I think we all understand what’s at stake and we’ve had very candid conversations,» Marks said of discussing the vaccine with Nets players. «Those are individual decisions. … It’s obviously out of our control.

«We are supporting getting the vaccination and putting out a healthy squad. So at this point, I think we’re ready to go into the season, we don’t see these — whether it’s a city-wide mandate or a league mandate to follow — being any sort of hindrance to us putting out a team.»

NBA players are just about the only major group of employees on the court that are not required by the NBA itself to be vaccinated. All NBA coaches, front office and medical staff, security, team communications staff, scorer’s table staff and officials have been hit with a vaccine mandate, but some players could clearly still face consequences for refusing the vaccine.