NBA: Anti-Vaxxers Who Miss Games Will Also Miss Their Paychecks

While the NBA’s rift with unvaccinated players wages on through the first week of training camp, the league confirmed Wednesday that unvaccinated players who can’t play in cities where vaccination is required will not be paid for the games they miss.

“Any player who elects not to comply with local vaccination mandates will not be paid for games that he misses,” NBA spokesperson Mike Bass said in a brief statement Wednesday.

The NBA’s ruling impacts players league-wide, but potentially and especially the Brooklyn Nets’ Kyrie Irving and the Golden State Warriors’ Andrew Wiggins, a pair of high-profile, max-contract players who play in markets — New York City and San Francisco, respectively — where the vaccination requirement is mandated. 

If both players, who are currently unvaccinated, miss their team’s home games — 41 games for each player — Irving stands to lose $17.5 million this season and Wiggins $15.8 million, Forbes Sports’ Tommy Beer noted.

Irving dodged questions about his playing status and his troubling, conspiracy-minded stance on the Covid-19 vaccine during the Nets’ media day Monday, asking reporters to “Please respect my privacy.” Nets’ teammate Kevin Durant also downplayed the situation, telling reporters, “I expect it not to be an issue. We trust in Kyrie and I expect us to have our whole team at some point.”

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