In the past 48 hours, while the NBA world has not speculated on the fate of Ben simmonsthere was talk of a few big players in major markets not getting vaccinated – and it could cost them games and paychecks.
According to reports, neither Andrew Wiggins of the Golden State Warriors nor Kyrie Irving of the Brooklyn Nets are vaccinated, and both play in cities where there are vaccination warrants for anyone to enter large indoor spaces. Like basketball arenas. This means that these players cannot train or play in matches when their teams are at home.
However, these are exceptions. Most players are vaccinated. Players’ union executive director Michele Roberts said the figure was 90% a few months ago, although the league privately said closer to 85%. That may have changed, however, reports Shams Charania of The Athletic.
– Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) September 23, 2021
If this percentage is maintained until the final deletion of the list, it means that between 40 and 50 players in the NBA are not vaccinated. The good news is that the NBA’s vaccination rate is way above the national average. The downside is that there are enough players that some teams have difficulty keeping players separate in meetings, in the locker room, during travel, and that would be a problem for games in San Francisco and New York. York.
The NBA will not have a vaccination mandate for players (although it will be for team staff and referees), and at this point no mind will change with the facts, figures and logic. . So the NBA has gone down the path of other businesses and governments and tried to change the math for the players – it will be much more embarrassing not to be vaccinated in the NBA this season. Daily tests, twice on match days, wearing a mask at all times in the team’s facilities (except on the field during training / games), quarantine periods of one week after being exposed to the virus (where the player cannot play or train), be separated from teammates in locker rooms and other team spaces, and much more.
But the big motivation is money.
The NBA sent a note to teams saying that if a player cannot play in a game “due to his inability to comply with local law, he could be subject to a reduction in his remuneration by the NBA or his team. “. Yaron Weitzman reported to FoxSports.com. This means teams can try to take away game control from players who don’t play New York / San Francisco games because they aren’t vaccinated – which for Wiggins and Irving is over $ 300,000 per game. . Weitzman said the threat of it was enough to get some reluctance to get the jab.
In reality, it’s not clear if teams can pull back game controls in this case – it’s unprecedented territory. The team would claim “non-execution” (the CBA / legal term not to play), but the player and agent could argue that there is no league mandate on the vaccine, and the player is ready to play and does it on the go, it’s just local law that is the issue. Not the player.
The team will still have leverage simply by withholding the money – the player would appeal the team’s fine and that would go to arbitration, as stipulated by the CBA. Except it takes at least six months, and probably almost nine months or a year. It’s a long time to wait for your money.
The NBA is trying to achieve the WNBA’s 99% vaccination rate, but there will be reluctance. And it could cost them dearly.