NBA star Kyrie Irving can play home games again.

Driving the news: New York City Mayor Eric Adams announced Thursday that he added a COVID-19 vaccine mandate exemption for New York City performers and athletes, which paves the way for athletes like Brooklyn Nets star Kyrie Irving to perform again in Brooklyn.

What he said: “I want to be clear, expanding this exemption, which only applies to a small number of people, is crucial,” he said, according to New York Post city hall reporter Bernadette Hogan.

  • “Today we’re taking another step, putting New York-based athletes of a level playing field,” he said, per ESPN staff writer Joon Lee.

Why this matters: NBA star Kyrie Irving — who has been notably unvaccinated against the coronavirus — can now compete at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.

  • Irving has been a part-time player for the Nets this season, competing only in away games.
  • As the NBA playoffs near, this only adds more firepower to the Brooklyn Nets, giving them even more help during their remaining season games and the playoffs.

The bigger picture: Adams said last week that his decisions aren’t just for athletes, they’re for all the citizens of New York City, per Politico.

  • “Everyone is focused on the sports area,” Adams said on March 16. “They’re focusing on one person. I’m focusing on 9 million people. I’m not looking at one person. I’m looking at my city not closing down again.”