With weeks left to the start of the 2021-22 NBA season, teams are making their final adjustments to their rosters. However, there may be a few issues when crafting a team due to the vaccination reports. A few weeks the NBA stated that players in the league are not mandated to get vaccinated against COVID-19 as the NBA and NBPA are continuing to negotiate the best approach the league can take.
The New York Knicks is the only team in the league that is fully vaccinated before the start of the season. Reports have also stated that 99 percent of WNBA players are fully vaccinated. There is one catch, and players are trying to find ways to be eligible to play home games during the season.
Andrew Wiggins Denied Religious Exemption
Andrew Wiggins of the Golden State Warriors has been denied a religious exemption from the NBA making him ineligible until he meets the San Francisco vaccination requirement. He said back in March that he does not plan to get the shot unless he is forced to do so in order to play.
Each state and even going down to the local level have different laws in regards to the requirements in order to play. New York and California essentially have the same regulations for their fight against the coronavirus. The vaccine is required for fans and other participants who are ages 12 and over to attend large indoor events. The league issued a statement stating that ” Wiggins will not be able to play in Warriors home games until he fulfills the city’s vaccination requirements.”
This comes after the San Francisco Department of Public Health declared that vaccination is required to partake in the games. “Under the current order, if unvaccinated, they cannot enter indoor areas regardless of the reason they are unvaccinated and cannot test out of this requirement even if they have a medical or religious exemption,” it said in a statement.” Wiggins will be able to play most road games but will be tested daily and more if necessary when the team travels to other states or aboard to Canada.
As of right now, the teams that face the heaviest restrictions are the Brooklyn Nets, New York Knicks, and Golden State Warriors.
How Will This Affect Teams Around the League
Wiggins is not the other player that is dealing with the restrictions. There is still 10 percent of players who could be forced to sit games because they do not have at least one dose of the shot. One other player is Brooklyn Nets star point guard Kyrie Irving.
Irving has hinted at the possibility of sitting during home games because many players are opting to do. Several players who are unvaccinated are very vocal about their choice of not being part of the majority, Hall of Famer Kareem Abdul-Jabbar had something to say about the vaccine mandates the NBA did not force on the players for this upcoming season.
Jabbar strongly believed that the NBA should have made taking the vaccine mandatory due to several reasons. He believes that he has no patience with the players who refuse to get it. He stated that players are putting teammates and other people within the organizations at risk.
Regardless of the claims, Brooklyn Nets General Manager Sean Marks believes that all players on the team will be vaccinated ahead of training camp, and will face no problems when the season starts. One has to wonder what the long-term effect will be as other leagues are going through the same thing. Do you think the NBA is taking the right procedures in regards to this case?