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NBA

Did you know the NBA is ending its vaccine mandate for the 2022-23 regular season?

With the league calling time on its vaccine mandate, there are a few interesting results. For starters, Kyrie Irving can now be fully available.

Update:
Did you know the NBA is ending its vaccine mandate for the 2022-23 regular season?
Maddie MeyerGetty Images

The effects of the covid-19 pandemic could fill several volumes and that’s without even mentioning the immense loss of life. Yet, perhaps one of the more curious examples how the virus changed things for us was witnessed In the NBA with its vaccine mandates.

The NBA won’t employ vaccine mandates next season

Regardless of conflicting views, one thing is clear when it comes to the NBA and its stance on covid-19: Players, coaches and staff members alike should all be vaccinated against covid-19. With that said, reports now suggest that in the coming 2022-23 NBA regular season, the league will not be implementing its heavily debate vaccine mandate. In case you’re wondering, the league - as per reports - intends to request that players to undergo, periodic testing, however, it is understood that such a move hinges on discussions with the National Basketball Players Association.

While noteworthy, the news does correspond with the NBA’s health and safety policies from last season, when vaccine requirements were left to local cities and states to decide. In that situation, players were not obligated to get the vaccine, but they did have to adhere to local guidelines. That’s to say that unvaccinated players faced much stricter testing protocols and restrictions.

Despite Irving controversy, The NBA was a covid-19 success story

With a 95% vaccination rate at the start of the last season, the NBA had good reason to boast. There were of course some famous names who were on the fringe such as, Golden State Warriors forward Andrew Wiggins. Yet even the Warriors star who allegedly sought an exemption on religious grounds, finally relented and took the jab. The payoff was of course that he could play in the all too important home games. There was also Philadelphia 76ers wing Matisse Thybulle, who was barred entry to Canada - before getting vaccinated - for the initial games of their first-round playoff series against the Toronto Raptors.

That of course brings us to Brooklyn Nets star Kyrie Irving. The controversy that unfolded between Irving and the Nets over his vaccine refusal, is now well documented. After being sent home by the Nets, Irving would go on to miss the first half of the season. What’s interesting here, is that Irving essentially forced his team to wait out the situation with him, and they did. Many, will likely still have a bitter taste in their mouths, when contemplating what could have been, if the problematic point guard had not played a role in James Harden’s exit, thereby sabotaging a would be ‘super team.’ All of this, culminated - as you will know - in the elimination of the Nets in the first round of the playoffs, courtesy of a Boston Celtics sweep. As things stand, Irving is now implicated in the Kevin Durant trade request saga. ‘Will he stay or will he go?’ remains the question.

Where are U.S. vaccine mandates at right now?

At present, the large majority of American states - including California and New York - have now ended the vaccine requirements for large event attendance. Add to that the fact that, as mentioned before the league itself is almost entirely vaccinated and you’ve got a scenario that shouldn’t be a problem. That is of course, unless you’re going to play the Raptors. Canada still requires covid-19 vaccination for entry and to date, has given no indication that stance will change anytime soon.

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