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Reacts: Has COVID impacted fans feelings toward NBA games?

The NBA appears to be on the backside of a league-wide COVID breakout, but not without having games impacted throughout the year.

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Los Angeles Lakers and Brooklyn Nets at Crypto.com Arena Gary Coronado / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

Welcome to SB Nation Reacts, a survey of fans across the NBA. Each week, we send out questions to the most plugged in Los Angeles Lakers fans, and fans across the country. Sign up here to join Reacts, and check out DraftKings Sportsbook, the official sportsbook partner of SB Nation.

The NBA’s bout with COVID is past its peak and while some teams are still suffering the effects of it, the darkest days appear behind the league as a whole with fewer and fewer players in health and safety protocols each day.

The impact of the COVID absences were felt across the league, not only in terms of postponed games but in the players that were sidelined for some of the league’s marquee games around the holidays. With so many new faces and so few familiar superstars on the court, our latest SB Nations NBA Reacts survey shows that fans have enjoyed games less this season.

Despite finding less enjoyment in games, the vast majority of fans aren’t watching fewer games this season, which begs the question...why? Do things you actually like doing, folks.

One of the noteworthy storylines of the season has surrounded Kyrie Irving, the Brooklyn Nets and his stance on not receiving the vaccine, which does not allow him to play home games in New York City where they’re a vaccine mandate.

After standing their ground earlier in the season, the Nets eventually relented and acquiesced to Irving, allowing him to become a part-time player that can feature in various road games. The majority of fans, though, feel that the Nets are making the wrong move.

Irving made his debut in Wednesday’s game against the Pacers in the team’s 46th game of the season. With the team already being past the halfway point in the season and with Irving only able to play in road games not in New York (i.e. not against the Knicks), the best-case scenario would be Irving playing in 24 games the remainder of the season.

Whether that’s worth the constant shuffling the rotation and lineups will go through is a decision Brooklyn had to juggle with before making. And whether it’ll help the Nets in the long-term will play out over the coming weeks and months.

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