NBA players in certain markets who choose to remain unvaccinated will not only be hurting their teams. They will also be hurting their wallets.
In a statement released Wednesday morning, NBA spokesman Mike Bass offered a response to questions about what would happen to players who miss games because of the COVID-19 vaccination requirements in New York and San Francisco. Local guidelines in those cities will prevent unvaccinated Knicks, Nets and Warriors players from entering their home arenas for games. (Visiting players will follow different protocols.)
“Any player who elects not to comply with local vaccination mandates will not be paid for games that he misses,” Bass said.
While the Knicks are 100 percent vaccinated heading into the 2021-22 season, the Nets and Warriors have major concerns. Brooklyn guard Kyrie Irving and Golden State forward Andrew Wiggins are still not compliant with those policies, which could cost them millions of dollars if they don’t change their vaccination stances.
Wiggins, who was denied a request for a religious exemption from vaccination, didn’t offer many details on his decision at media day, saying, “I’m just gonna keep doing what I believe.” Irving also did little to clear up the confusion surrounding his availability.
“There’s just a lot of questions about what’s going on in the world of Kyrie, and I think I’d just love to just keep that private and handle it the right way with my team and go forward together with a plan,” Irving told reporters on a Zoom call. “Obviously I’m not able to be present there today, but that doesn’t mean that I’m putting any limits on the future of me being able to join the team.
“I just want to keep it that way, so please respect it, my privacy.”
The Nets will play their first preseason home game on Oct. 8, while the Warriors will play their preseason home opener on Oct. 6.
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