Kevin Durant was his own spectacle on Sunday, dropping 53 points, six rebounds and nine assists in the Brooklyn Nets’ showdown with the New York Knicks. KD dominating isn’t the weird part though. It’s that Kyrie Irving was in the stands watching the game as a fan, even though he’s not allowed to play. That was beyond weird.

Irving is only eligible to play in four more games this regular season. But when NYC Mayor Eric Adams made changes to vaccination mandate rules, it allowed Irving to now attend home games. Unfortunately, he still cannot play in them.

“That was crazy I heard some noise going on and I turned around and I seen Ky,” Bruce Brown said. “But I just don’t understand the ruling on him being in the arena and not being able to play. Just doesn’t make sense to me but it’s good to see him back in Barclays.”

Brown was caught off guard.

“I didn’t know. I didn’t know at all,” Brown admitted after a big 110-107 win in the battle of the boroughs, where he had 15 points, seven boards and five dimes. “I knew that [Irving] could come in and be in the arena, but I didn’t know if he was coming.”

Does that happen often? “No it’s different, Ky’s in the building. Yeah it was just good to see him back in here,” said Brown.

But head coach Steve Nash said they weren’t so surprised. “We were well prepared for it so it didn’t really phase us,” he added. “It doesn’t really effect us we’re used to stuff like that so we just tried to stay focused and tried to win the game and we know that there’s the oddities to everything.”

That word Nash used, oddity, is pretty fitting. It’s not often you get a scene like this, where a superstar shows up in the middle of a game and gets a standing ovation before sitting down across from the team’s bench. All without wearing a mask:

Kevin Durant had a strong statement for the NYC Mayor right after his statement game for the Nets versus the Knicks.

“It’s ridiculous. I don’t understand it at all,” Durant said. “There’s a few people in our arena that’s unvaxxed right?”

KD is normally more reserved. But this one seemed to really bring out another side to him.

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“It just feels like at this point now, somebody’s trying to make a statement on point to flex their authority. But you know, everybody out here is looking for attention and that’s what I feel like the Mayor wants right now, some attention. But he’ll figure it out soon, he better…. people didn’t understand what was going on, but now it just looks stupid. So hopefully Eric, you guys can figure this out.”

At another point, Durant said “yeah I was at the free throw line I think when he walked in, me and Drum [Drummond] looked at each other and was like ‘yo, this is unreal. Like I’ve never seen nothing like this before’ and we just smiled.'”

“Hopefully it gets figured out, like I said, Eric [Adams] you gotta figure something out man, ’cause its looking crazy, especially on national TV, and he can come to the game and not play? Like, c’mon man,” the Nets star furthered.

Durant looked right into the camera and let a moment of silence give his words more weight. A two-time NBA Finals MVP calling out a local Mayor for a change on vaccine mandate rules.

You have to wonder if public pressure like this from KD could actually backfire. If the NYC Mayor interprets Irving appearing courtside, and then Durant accusing the Mayor of seeking attention or creating some “stupid” scenario, maybe he won’t be as quick or eager to help the Nets. On the other hand, maybe he’ll agree this is totally absurd and find a way to fix it.

The simplest solution is still for Irving to get vaccinated, as the Mayor says:

And with some people in the city recently losing jobs because of vaccine mandates, the Mayor may not feel it’s as cut and dry as Durant does.

We’ll see if the Mayor responds to KD’s direct, and not entirely respectful, challenges. As of today, there are four games remaining Irving can play in. They’ll need him for more if they want to win a championship.