Unvaccinated NBA players who miss games will also run out of paychecks, league says

Kyrie Irving # 11 of the Brooklyn Nets goes to the basket against the Milwaukee Bucks in Round 2, Game 3 of the 2021 NBA Playoffs on June 10, 2021 at the Fiserv Forum Center in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Nathaniel S. Butler | National Basketball Association | Getty Images

Unvaccinated NBA players who sideline by violating local health codes will not be paid for such absences, the league said on Wednesday.

“Any player who chooses not to comply with local vaccination mandates will not be paid for games they miss,” said executive vice president and NBA spokesperson Mike Bass.

The league’s unequivocal statement will surely increase the pressure on a handful of stars who have resisted the potentially life-saving inoculations.

Bass’s announcement came a day after the biggest star in the NBA, the great LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers, broke his silence and revealed he had been vaccinated.

“After doing my research and things of that nature, I felt that it suited not only me but also my family and friends,” he told reporters at the training center. of the team in El Segundo.

A representative of the players’ union could not immediately be reached for comment on Wednesday.

The league estimates that around 90 percent of players have already been vaccinated. The Lakers and New York Knicks have already said their rosters will be fully vaccinated by then Regular season action kicks off October 19.

But one handful of stars, like the Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving, Golden State Warriors forward Andrew Wiggins and the wizards of Washington goalie Bradley Beal, have publicly resisted vaccinations.

Although the NBA does not impose vaccines for its players, they are still subject to local standards.

If Irving and Wiggins don’t get the shots, they wouldn’t be allowed to play at home due to New York City and San Francisco City Health Codes, respectively.

Wiggins was denied a religion exemption from any vaccine mandate Last week. He bristled when reporters asked about his vaccination position Monday.

“It’s none of your business,” Wiggins said. “… I’m not asking you what your beliefs are, I’m not asking you what you think is right or wrong. We are different people.”

It was not clear how much a team could withhold from a player missing an action due to a vaccine refusal.

Each NBA team plays a total of 82 games during the regular season. A missed game represents 1.21% of this campaign. So if Wiggins, with an annual base salary of $ 31.57 million were expected to lose 1.21% of their salary, which could amount to about $ 385,000 per competition.


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