Nuggets small forward Michael Porter Jr. told the Denver Post he doesn't feel comfortable getting the COVID-19 vaccine. He also shared he's contracted the virus twice.
“For me, I had COVID twice, I saw how my body reacted, and although the chances are slim, with the vaccine, there’s a chance you could have a bad reaction to it,” Porter told the Denver Post. “For me, I don’t feel comfortable."
Porter Jr. also said he's against a vaccine mandate for NBA players.
“My stance on the mandate is it definitely shouldn’t be a mandate," he said. "It should be everyone’s decision. I see it both ways. If you want to get it because you feel more protected and you feel safer, and it’s protecting people around you, get it. That’s good for you. But if you feel like, ‘Oh, for me, I don’t feel safe getting it, then don’t get it.’”
Porter Jr.'s reasoning is that he already knows what a bout with COVID-19 entails, but he doesn't know what kind of effect the vaccine will have on him.
“I’ve had it twice, and I don’t know what’s going in my body with a shot, so if I already know how I’m going to react to COVID, I just feel like, for me, I don’t want to risk putting something that might affect me negatively in my body,” Porter said.
Porter Jr. agreed to terms on a five-year extension that's worth up to $207 million with Denver, his agent told ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski on Monday. The deal is worth $172 million unless he reaches the designated max criteria and is named to one of the three All-NBA teams this year.
It was later reported that the deal is guaranteed $145.3 million, per The Athletic's Shams Charania. Denver, unlike San Francisco and New York, does not require proof of vaccination for pro athletes to play in arenas. Visiting players are exempt, however, so Porter Jr. would be able to play against the Warriors, Knicks and Nets if he still isn't vaccinated when the Nuggets travel to those cities.
But unvaccinated players across the NBA will be held to different protocols compared to vaccinated players. They will not be able to eat in the same room with their teammates, will test far more frequently, and will have limitations on where they can go in their home city and on the road.
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