Again in March, Andrew Wiggins stated that he would not get a COVID-19 vaccine “except I am pressured to.” Six months later, his ideas on the matter have not modified.
There may be “growing concern” within the Warriors group concerning the availability of their beginning ahead forward of the 2021-22 season, based on the San Francisco Chronicle’s Rusty Simmons, who experiences that Wiggins stays unvaccinated. Native pointers in San Francisco, the place the Chase Middle is situated, will forestall Golden State gamers from getting into their house enviornment for video games except they’ve an accepted medical or spiritual exemption. (Visiting gamers will observe completely different protocols.)
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The NBA may grant Wiggins a spiritual exemption, but when that does occur, the town of San Francisco may override the league’s ruling. (UPDATE: The NBA on Friday denied Wiggins a spiritual exemption.)
“We’re actively addressing the matter of requests for spiritual exemption from vaccinations throughout many industries and can work with our enterprise and leisure group on subsequent steps,” the San Francisco Division of Public Well being stated in a assertion to the Chronicle. “We’ll present additional clarification on this subject.”
Simmons famous that the Warriors linked Wiggins with an Oakland physician to debate his hesitancy in getting the vaccine, however after a dialog with the physician, he was nonetheless “unmoved in his choice towards vaccination.”
What does this imply for Andrew Wiggins and the Warriors?
Whereas the NBA and Nationwide Basketball Gamers Affiliation have made it clear that gamers will not be required to get a COVID-19 vaccination, Wiggins may very well be compelled to get vaccinated based mostly on potential monetary losses. The 26-year-old is about to make greater than $31 million this season, however he may lose important cash if he misses video games and is unavailable for workforce actions at native services.
Any stretch with out Wiggins could be an enormous problem for the Warriors. In 71 video games final season, he averaged 18.6 factors whereas taking pictures a career-high 47.7 p.c from the sector and 38.0 p.c from 3-point vary. He additionally improved defensively in his first full season with Golden State, ending fourth amongst small forwards in ESPN’s Defensive Actual Plus-Minus metric after touchdown eighty fifth in that place group the earlier yr.
Wiggins won’t ever be an MVP candidate like Stephen Curry or game-changing sharpshooter like Klay Thompson, however his standing may alter the course of the Warriors’ 2021-22 marketing campaign.
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Different NBA groups to observe
Knicks and Nets gamers will even be required to be vaccinated due to authorities insurance policies in New York. Brooklyn basic supervisor Sean Marks informed reporters this week that there are just a few holdouts on the roster, however he’s “assured” that everybody will be capable of take part in coaching camp.
“I believe all of us perceive what’s at stake,” Marks stated. “We have had very candid conversations. These are particular person choices. … It is clearly out of our management. We’re supporting getting the vaccination and placing out a wholesome squad. And so at this level, I believe we’re prepared to enter the season. We do not see these, whether or not it is a city-wide mandate or whether or not it is the league mandate to observe, being any type of hindrance to us placing out a workforce.”
NBA coaching camps are set to start on Tuesday, Sept. 28.