Kyrie Irving, who is set to make his home debut for the Brooklyn Nets on Sunday, says that he’s been “pinching” himself since New York City Mayor Eric Adams lifted the city’s private sector vaccine mandate, earlier this week. Irving has been held out of all of the Nets’ home games this season due to local restrictions on unvaccinated players.

“Please take my comment seriously when I say I’ve been pinching myself since Wednesday and Thursday because there was a time where I got my hopes really, really high and all the air just got let out,” Irving said. “I didn’t want to get too excited. Still tonight, I’m trying to stay focused on this game. But I know tomorrow will eventually come and I’m looking forward to playing back in Brooklyn.”

Jacob Kupferman / Getty Images

Irving also discussed his long-term plans and revealed that he has no intention of leaving Kevin Durant behind in Brooklyn after the end of his contract.

“For me, it has always been about being comfortable and loving where I’m at. I love it here,” Irving said. “Once that summertime hits, I know we’ll have some conversations but there’s no way I could leave my man 7 anywhere.”

The All-Star point guard has a player option in his contract, meaning that he could decide to stay in Brooklyn next season and earn $36.5 million.

[Via]

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