The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has been the impetus for nearly every decision made by the NBA in the past year. And while the pandemic is still affecting people on a daily basis, we are starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel in the form of multiple vaccines in public circulation.
When vaccinations first started being released to the public, the NBA urged teams to not cut the line and to wait until they are considered eligible. Many top players around the league were hesitant to receive the vaccine altogether, causing the NBA to announce that vaccinated players would be given far more freedoms than the current protocols allow.
Now, it is being reported that the Los Angeles Lakers will become the fourth team to publicly have members of the organization receive the vaccine, according to Ramona Shelburne and Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:
Members of the Los Angeles Lakers organization are expected to receive a vaccine for COVID-19 this week, sources told ESPN.
It was not clear which players or staffers were planning to receive the vaccine as HIPAA regulations preclude anyone from the team commenting on the situation.
According to Dave McMenamin of ESPN, those who will be getting the vaccine will be receiving the Johnson & Johnson one that only requires one shot:
Members of the Lakers are being offered the one shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine, according to sources. https://t.co/EGj7kl0w8D
— Dave McMenamin (@mcten) March 24, 2021
With the Lakers becoming the fourth team to take this step, we are starting to see signs that players have become less reluctant. Players will hopefully continue to get vaccinated, which could signal a quicker return to normal. This includes fans returning to games in greater numbers.
Much like the other three teams to receive vaccines — the Portland Trail Blazers, Atlanta Hawks, and New Orleans Pelicans — there won’t be any official announcements about individual players. Instead, players may choose to announce it themselves. Robert Covington and Enes Kanter, among other Trail Blazers players, took to social media to encourage others to get the shot.
If Lakers players do decide to make it public, fans will know in the next few days. However, Frank Vogel and any other Lakers officials will not give any information out.
Vogel was unsure about when players would get vaccine
After the Lakers’ Tuesday night loss to the Pelicans, Vogel was asked about the availability of vaccines to the players. He revealed that they have been trying, but he hadn’t heard anything as of last night.
“Not yet. We’re still waiting. There’s been some talk about trying to get it, but we’re not there yet.”
Have you subscribed to our YouTube channel? It’s the best way to watch player interviews, exclusive coverage from events, participate in live shows, and more!