Brooklyn Nets star Kyrie Irving will be allowed to play in the Barclays Center on Sunday after New York City Mayor Eric Adams on Thursday lifted its private sector vaccine mandate.

Ahead of his home debut, Irving spoke with ESPN about playing his first game at Barclays this season, as well as his hopes of signing a long-term extension this summer.

“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.”

With the vaccine mandate behind him, Irving maintains he’s focused on the “long run.”

“To be honest, I signed up for this for the long run,” Irving explained. “I love this year. I’m grateful. It has not been the prototypical year. But when I look at my teammates and I look at what we have as an organization. I’m looking for the long run and what we can do, legacy talk.”

The All-Star point guard added that he has no plans on leaving Brooklyn when his contract is up this summer.

“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.”

Irving has been unable to play in any of the Nets’ home games this season due to NYC’s vaccine mandate, which requires people to have at least one shot of the vaccine to enter indoor gyms. However, he has attended a few games in Barclays after the mandate was lifted, including a matinee contest against the Knicks earlier this month where the Nets were fined $50,000 by the NBA for “violating New York City law and league health and safety protocols” by allowing Kyrie to go into the locker room after the game.