Wiggins says he felt “only option” was to get vaccinated to play in NBA


The Warriors Andrew Wiggins has been vaccinated and can play in Warriors home games this season, including the team’s exhibition opener Monday night.

But he’s not happy about it.

Wiggins spoke about getting the vaccine after the Golden State’s 121-107 preseason win against Portland. Here are some highlights, via Kendra Andrews and Monte Poole of NBC Sports Bay Area.

Wiggins was not forced to get the vaccine; he did have other options — they were just very expensive and unpleasant. By design. The NBA has laid out ground rules for this season for unvaccinated players that involve testing, not leaving the hotel on the road, not going out on the town or to dinner when at home, and a lot of testing. It’s a lot of extra hoops to jump through, most of which vaccinated players do not have to deal with.

In Wiggins’ case, there was also the local San Francisco mandate that anyone attending indoor gatherings in public places — gyms, restaurants, and the Chase Center where the Warriors play — must be vaccinated to enter the building. That meant Wiggins would miss Warriors home games and the paychecks that come with them — a little more than $328,000 a game for Wiggins. Wiggins may not have been forced to get the vaccine, but that is a lot of money to leave on the table.

About 95% of NBA players are vaccinated now, a percentage that has been steadily climbing since training camps opened. Still, there are some high-profile holdouts, including the Wizards Bradley Beal and the Nets’ Kyrie Irving, who faces the same paycheck loss as Wiggins would have (but larger). Those players are drawing headlines now.

Wiggins is now out of that spotlight, even if he felt forced into the decision.

Check out more on the Warriors

Report: NBA teams won’t save on luxury tax if unvaccinated players… Warriors’ Andrew Wiggins receives first shot of COVID-19 vaccine Steve Kerr on Wiggins: “We anticipate he’ll be available”

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