COVID vaccines are becoming available to NBA players and staff but not everyone is open to it. Kent Bazemore is the second Warriors’ player to say he’s out.
The rollout of COVID vaccines is continuing to speed up and it’s starting to become available to NBA players and team staff, depending on the particular guidelines in their states. Players and staff from the New Orleans Pelicans, Atlanta Hawks and Portland Trail Blazers have already received the vaccine and the Lakers’ will reportedly start getting doses this week as well.
But not everyone is excited about the opportunity. Several players have expressed hesitancy about getting vaccinated. Earlier this week Andrew Wiggins said he didn’t expect to take the vaccine anytime soon and today Kent Bazemore made it clear he’s not interested either.
What happens if Kent Bazemore and other Warriors’ players refuse the vaccine?
The NBA is not able to mandate vaccinations for players and any player who doesn’t receive a vaccine would continue to operate under the same health and safety protocols that have covered the rest of the season. But according to Bullets Forever, there are some significant individual and collective benefits for teams who can get more than 85 percent of their roster vaccinated:
“One of them is that teams won’t have to wear face masks indoors provided that one is fully vaccinated and at least 85 percent of team staff and players are as well. They would also be able to go to restaurants again and not be under quarantine if they are listed as a “close contact” for a positive coronavirus case.”
While teams and the league can’t mandate the vaccine, it will be interesting to see if there is any peer pressure at play from their own teammates. Life would be a lot easier for the rest of the Warriors if Wiggins and Bazemore get their shots.