COVID-19 affecting start of the NBA season
The 2021-22 NBA season is set to get underway soon as most teams will begin training camp this week.
Several teams around the league will be missing out on some star players due to COVID-19 concerns or protocols.
The NBA was the first professional sports league that had to deal with COVID-19 back in March 2020, and the league has not been able to escape it. The NBA is hoping to play a regular schedule once again this season, but virus concerns have already started to pop up. Many players have already been searching online for the latest NBA picks ahead of the new season.
The Phoenix Suns advanced all the way to the NBA Finals a season ago, and they are one of the betting favorites to win the title again this season. They begin training camp on Tuesday, and they will do so without their star player.
Devin Booker will not be able to report to the team this week as he is out due to health and safety protocols. The team has not made any additional comments on the matter and won’t do so until Booker returns to Phoenix.
The NBA has not required that all of its players get vaccinated against COVID-19, but it encourages players to do so. Most team personnel are vaccinated against the virus, but the league will still have strict protocols in place this season.
League Denies Wiggins’ Request
The Golden State Warriors could have a mess on their hands as Andrew Wiggins is unwilling to get the COVID-19 vaccine. San Francisco has a vaccination requirement in place, and that requires all players to be vaccinated before they can enter the arena.
Wiggins did attempt to get around this issue by applying for a religious exemption by the NBA. Last week it was announced that the league denied the religious exemption, which could leave the Warriors short a player for all home games.
Irving Misses Media Day
Kyrie Irving of the Brooklyn Nets is another player that has been extremely outspoken against the COVID-19 vaccination and his refusal to get it. Irving was not present at the team’s media day on Monday due to a rule that requires pro athletes to have a vaccination in New York City.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio requires at least one vaccine shot for professional athletes in New York City before they can compete indoors. Irving has refused to discuss his vaccination status but has been known to speak out on the issue in the past.
Brooklyn is set to head to San Diego to begin training camp, and the Nets have confirmed that Irving is planning on joining the team. It’s unclear how long the executive order from de Blasio will last, but it could linger on into the regular season.
Irving was the only player not present on Monday, which means that the rest of the team has received at least one dose of the shot. Several players were asked about the status of Irving, but they all denied speaking on the issue.
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