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NBA Says Unvaccinated Players Who Can't Play in Games Won't Get Paid

NBA players who do not comply with local vaccination requirements will not be paid for the games that they miss due to their status, NBA spokesperson Mike Bass said Wednesday.

Such a policy could impact players with the Warriors, Nets and Knicks, as all three teams play in areas in which local jurisdictions are requiring people to be fully vaccinated to be allowed indoors for entertainment. 

Last week, Knicks general manager Scott Perry said the entire New York roster is vaccinated. The policy outlined Wednesday could, however, still impact the Warriors and Nets. 

Brooklyn guard Kyrie Irving did not attend Nets media day in person Monday due to New York City's health and safety protocols. Irving would not comment on his specific vaccination status, saying, Monday via Zoom, that he "prefers to keep that stuff private."

"Living in this public sphere, there's a lot of questions about what's going on in the world of Kyrie, and I would love to just keep that private and handle that the right way with my team and go forward with a plan," Irving said.

Golden State forward Andrew Wiggins was similarly asked to clarify his vaccination status on Monday but declined, saying, "it's none of your business." 

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The NBA denied Wiggins's request to get a religious exemption for the vaccine on Friday. 

"I'm just going to keep fighting for what I believe and for what I believe is right," Wiggins said. "What's right to one person, isn't right to the other and vice versa."

The executive orders creating vaccine requirements only apply to the players who play in those markets, meaning out-of-market players are exempted from them.

On Tuesday, the league informed teams that it was close to finalizing an agreement with the National Basketball Players Association on health and safety protocols for the upcoming season. On Tuesday, the league informed teams that it was close to finalizing an agreement with the National Basketball Players Association on health and safety protocols for the upcoming season. 

Vaccinated players will have far fewer restrictions while unvaccinated players to be under many of the same restrictions that the entire league had last year.

NBPA executive director Michele Roberts said Tuesday that more than 90% of the league's players are fully vaccinated.

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