Perhaps the hottest NBA-wide topic entering the start of training camps on Tuesday is the subject of COVID-19 vaccination.
According to the NBA and the National Basketball Players Association, approximately 90% of NBA players are vaccinated. While this is a significant figure, the circumstances could be problematic for the 10% who have so far chosen not to be vaccinated.
Some NBA markets, including San Francisco and New York, have passed ordinances that would prevent unvaccinated athletes from participating in indoor activities. Andrew Wiggins of Golden State and Kyrie Irving of Brooklyn are among the players who would not be vaccinated.
On Monday, Mavericks coach Jason Kidd said all Dallas coaching staff were vaccinated and estimated Mavericks players were in the “90th percentile” to be vaccinated. While Kidd declined to be specific, it does indicate that one or two of the 20 Mavericks on the training camp roster are unvaccinated.
“We are working to reach 100 percent for the players,” Kidd said, although he also stressed that vaccination is an individual choice.
The NBA has demanded that most team support staff be vaccinated. However, such a mandate does not exist for players.
“At the end of the day, it’s an individual decision,” said center Dwight Powell, who is the Mavericks’ representative at the NBPA. “We would like everyone to be vaccinated, but it is their choice and each has their own function through which they will carry out their decision making.”
Powell said several players have approached him for information on the pros and cons of vaccination. He said that in each case he tried to link the player to a neutral (non-NBA) medical expert.
Luka Doncic, who said earlier this year he contracted COVID-19 in the last offseason, was questioned at close range on Monday if he was vaccinated.
“I mean, yeah, but I want to keep it private,” he said. “Everyone should have their own choices, which they do.”
Any player who chooses not to get the vaccine faces the real possibility of not being able to play games this season in New York, San Francisco, Toronto and perhaps other NBA markets that have or could. pass ordinances.
At this time, it’s unclear whether one or more Mavericks are unvaccinated and whether that player (s) are being screened as the starting, rotating, or bench-ending player.
“We presented the benefits of being vaccinated, for themselves individually and for all of us,” said Powell. “If they make this decision, so much the better. Me no, they are always our teammates. We will still compete. We will always treat them with love and respect and keep moving forward. “
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