NBA adds extra incentive for players to get vaccinated

The saga of the NBA and COVID-19 vaccinations has taken a different turn. While it appears that the vast majority of players have chosen to get the shot, there are a few high profile holdouts. It’s particularly difficult in light of the regulations that several cities where NBA teams play, including New York and San Francisco, have established rules prohibiting unvaccinated players from setting foot in their arenas.

Now, Insider’s Sarah Al-Arshani has details of a new league policy that could inspire more players to get the shot. Simply put, if an unvaccinated player has to miss a game due to COVID-19 policies, that player will not be paid for the game (or games) in question.

Earlier this week, NBA executive vice president of communications Mike Bass explained the policy. “Any player who chooses not to comply with local vaccination mandates will not be paid for games they miss,” Bass said. At least one team is fully committed to public health, according to an ESPN report: The New York Knicks are fully vaccinated.

And one of the game’s best-known players of all time has spoken bluntly about the need for more players to get their shots. In a recent interview on NPR, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar said: “[I]If you want to play professional basketball with a lot of other people who would be endangered by close contact with unvaccinated people, everyone has to slow down and say, hey, we can’t allow this to happen. It’s a logical argument; I hope he will find receptive listeners.

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