You wouldn’t be that off claiming that Brooklyn Nets point guard Kyrie Irving emerged victorious in his battle against taking the COVID vaccine. You can declare this a case of fighting the city and winning.

Or you can declare it a case of a new mayor operating differently than the old one and the season. No matter how good the Brooklyn Nets have been (even though they have one of the greatest basketball players to have ever lived in Kevin Durant) they haven’t captured the imagination as much as the mediocre, but with promise, struggling team across the bridge in the New York Knicks. New York City Mayor Eric Adams who, according to the administration, expanded a preexisting mandate to cover NYC-based athletes and entertainers, isn’t about Kyrie. It’s about the New York Yankees, the New York Mets and Broadway.

The latter is a major tourist attraction that remains a pinnacle of the city and the entertainment industry. The former two are teams with built-in fanbases that care about what/how the teams are doing.

We’re just a few weeks away from the beginning of the Major League Baseball season, and watching games without being able to see sluggers Aaron Judge and Pete Alonso and pitcher Jacob deGrom (who are alleged to not be vaccinated) wouldn’t be as much fun.

Not to mention that New York Mets Owner Steve Cohen contributed $1.5 million to Adams’ mayoral campaign. You dance with the lady who brought you.

“The old exemption put our sports teams at a self-imposed competitive disadvantage and was unfair to New York performers,” Adams said last week. “Now, with the city in a low-risk environment, we can keep protecting each other, as we continue to move in the right direction and deliver an equitable and inclusive economic recovery.”

New York Mets President Sandy Alderson stated that the team owners are “proud to partner with the mayor and his team as part of New York City’s continued reopening and economic recovery.”

While those who don’t entertain the public and lost their jobs because of refusing to vaccinate are asking why, if you’re one of the (few) Nets fans, it doesn’t matter. Kyrie is back on the court (and averaging over 27 points per game).

Mandate? What mandate?

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