Sean Marks admitted “a couple” of people with the Nets would be excluded from participating in practice if it had begun this week due to citywide COVID-19 vaccination restrictions.
But the Brooklyn GM stressed Tuesday that he foresees no vaccine issues for his team with training camp slated to open next Tuesday in La Jolla, Calif..
“Regarding if they could play today, I can’t comment on who could play and so forth,” Marks said. “There would obviously be a couple people missing from that picture, and 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.”
City-based athletes whose teams play in indoor arenas must receive at least one dose of an approved COVID-19 vaccine in order to participate in team activities, the mayor’s office announced this month.
Asked later if he expected “everyone” to be compliant by the time the regular season commences Oct. 19, Marks replied, “Correct.”
“Obviously, I can’t get into details for a variety of reasons, whether it’s HIPAA violations or whatever it may be,” Marks added. “I think we all understand what’s at stake. We’ve had very candid conversations. Those are individual decisions, whether a staff member or player has to come to terms with it. It’s obviously out of our control.
“We are supporting getting the vaccination and putting out a healthy squad and so at this point we’re ready to go into the season. We don’t see — whether it’s a citywide mandate or it’s the league mandate to follow — being any sort of hindrance to us being able to put out a team.”
The Nets are slated to open their preseason slate Oct. 3 against the Lakers in Los Angeles, before returning for their first preseason game at Barclays Center against Milwaukee five days later. Only eight of the 19 signed players entering camp were on the Nets’ roster last season.
Marks on LaMarcus Aldridge, who was re-signed this month after being medically cleared to play following his April retirement due to an irregular heartbeat: “It’s not something that we take lighthearted. It’s not something he should, either. He was very comfortable, wanted to be back and stated, like several of our guys, that there was unfinished business here. … So after he’d cleared those — the specialists had given him the green light — and had come to terms with it on his own, he was fighting to come back.”