NBA commissioner Adam Silver optimistic COVID rules will relax

NBA commissioner Adam Silver expressed optimism that COVID-19 restrictions and mandates such as the one in New York City that has prohibited unvaccinated Kyrie Irving from playing home games and select road games could be eased if numbers decrease across the United States.

Silver said in an ESPN interview earlier this week that the rule preventing Irving from playing games at Barclays Center ”doesn’t quite make sense” because unvaccinated visiting players are eligible to play in the city. New York City Mayor Eric Adams agreed with Silver that he believes the double-standard is ”unfair,” but he cautioned that changing the rule might send “the wrong message.”

“In terms of New York City, I’m not sure what will happen specifically there, but as I’m watching what’s happening around the country, many of these restrictions are being lifted,” Silver said Saturday night in Cleveland at his annual All-Star Weekend address. “I haven’t talked directly to Mayor Adams about this, but based on what other communities are doing, my assumption is they will look at local rates of infection and testing and if they continue to come down as they have, my sense will be certain restrictions in place will be lifted. But again, I leave that up to New York City.”

Silver also said during his 30-minute address that neither the Nets nor any other team had filed tampering charges against the 76ers over the trade that sent James Harden to Philadelphia on Feb. 10 for a package headlined by Ben Simmons.

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