With the start of the 2021-22 NBA season just around the corner, the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is unfortunately still going on, which will create hurdles for players and organizations.
The NBA is not requiring players to be vaccinated this season as the Players Association will not allow that type of mandate. There are a lot of positive things that come with being vaccinated though such as loosened protocols, so players are strongly encouraged to do so in order to get through the season without any issues.
The Los Angeles Lakers have championship aspirations this season and because of that, they cannot afford to have key players missing time due to a coronavirus outbreak.
With that being the case, Rob Pelinka delivered some good news during his press conference on Thursday when he announced the Lakers will be fully vaccinated before their Opening Night game against the Golden State Warriors on Oct. 19.
“We worked really hard with our UCLA Health partners and our team doctors and players and agents and family members and we will be on Opening Night when we play the Golden State Warriors, all of the players that are currently signed on our roster, that night will be deemed fully vaccinated,” Pelinka said. “We’re grateful for that. I think just in collaboration, again, with UCLA doctors and people internally, we will be grateful that we won’t have interruptions caused by unvaccinated status of a player or staff member.”
As he alluded to, this not only includes players but also all coaches and staff members as the league is requiring them to be vaccinated.
What the Lakers being fully vaccinated shows is that they are united in their commitment to winning a championship this season. While every player may not agree that they need the vaccine, it seems that they understand the impact it has on their teammates as well as friends and family and decided to go through with getting it.
Vogel undecided on starting lineup
As far as on-the-court business goes, the Lakers have a lot of stuff to figure out before they take the court against the Warriors on Opening Night. One is the starting lineup, with various reports indicating Anthony Davis will start at center this season.
Frank Vogel recently declined to say if that’s the case though. In fact, he said he is still unsure what his starting lineup will look like, so that will be sorted out after some training camp practices and preseason games when he sees the new squad on the court together.
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