The COVID-19 pandemic still rages on, with many people across the world still having their livelihoods affected by the virus. While vaccines are widely available in the United States, they are a hot-button topic today, with there still being some people who are hesitant to take the COVID-19 vaccine.
While some people like to separate real-life matters and sports, the question of vaccination reached the NBA as well. There are some fairly prominent players who are unvaccinated currently, despite the presence of local mandates in some big markets. It was reported that the Golden State Warriors had concerns about Andrew Wiggins' availability due to his vaccination status and that Kyrie Irving has not yet taken a dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. Both players could potentially be unavailable for their teams' home games.
There have also been some players who have announced themselves that they are vaccinated. Among them is former MVP and current champion, Giannis Antetokounmpo. Antetokounmpo stated that he was doing what was best for him and his family to stay safe.
It remains to be seen how the NBA handles this matter going forward, but it seems as though the league is definitely encouraging players to take the COVID-19 vaccine. Shams Charania previously reported that 90% of NBA players are fully vaccinated and that the number has been increasing as teams head closer to training camps.
Local mandates could definitely limit some players, and in terms of basketball, missing key players due to laws will definitely hamper teams' performances on the court. Covering for a starter that will miss half the season will certainly be difficult on a players' teammates.
The NBA will have to come up with a solution for this situation soon, and it'd be good to see everyone be available during the upcoming season. Perhaps we'll see a resolution in the upcoming weeks heading into the season.