After initially stating the seven-time All-Star wouldn't be allowed to join the team on a part-time basis, Nets GM Sean Marks apparently has had a change of heart. Beginning Wednesday, Irving will be available for road games in which a statewide mandate doesn't conflict with his unvaccinated status.
The January 21st showdown with the Spurs will be the fifth road game for the Brooklyn Nets since Irving's return and will be the third game of a four-game road trip.
Sean Marks, who previously played with the Spurs and won a title with them as an assistant coach in 2014, seemed to take a hard stance against allowing Irving to only be available on the road originally. "It is imperative that we continue to build chemistry as a team and remain true to our long-established values of togetherness and sacrifice," he said in a statement.
But health and safety protocols hit the Nets hard in December, even striking Irving himself almost immediately when he re-entered team activities. Despite their 23-11 record, something within the Nets organization, perhaps 27 points worth of offense, made them change their minds.
Harden, Durant, Irving's First Game in San Antonio Together
Assuming all three premier Nets are available on January 21st, it should mark the first time the Spurs face them all together. The Spurs have an upcoming game against Brooklyn on January 9th, but Irving won't be allowed to suit up for that one due to New York's vaccine mandate.
In Kyrie's last game in San Antonio on March 1st of last year, he scored 27 points on 6-of-10 from downtown, dished out seven assists, and pulled down six boards in a 124-113 win. Brooklyn has won the last three meetings, bringing the all-time series to 72-25 in favor of San Antonio.
Adding to the excitement of the game, Patty Mills and LaMarcus Aldridge will both be making their much-anticipated returns to San Antonio for the first time. Both will undoubtedly be showered with cheers from the Alamo City crowd and will likely receive tribute videos at the AT&T Center. The Spurs will also be celebrating another Fiesta night and giving out collectible posters for the game.
January 21st is starting to look like a must-attend game for several reasons.