By Johnny Askounis/ email@example.com
Andrew Wiggins has been vaccinated against COVID-19, Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr said on Sunday.
Wiggins, 26, should he have opted to not get the vaccine, would be ineligible for the home games of the Warriors. The San Francisco Department of Health requires vaccination for all attendees 12 years and older at large indoor events. Also, his request for a vaccination exemption was denied by the NBA.
The Canadian small forward not vaccinated could have resulted in him losing close to $9M, due to missing his team’s home games in that case.
The Warriors completely inoculated are heading to the 2021 Preseason opener opposite the Portland Trail Blazers at Moda Center on Monday. All players, including Wiggins, are available.
The remaining Preseason fixtures will see the Denver Nuggets, Los Angeles Lakers, and Blazers at the Chase Center on 6, 8, and 15 October, respectively, and the Warriors at the Staples Center for another meeting with the Lakers on 12 October.
As for the 2020-21 season for Wiggins, he posted 18.6 points, 4.9 rebounds, 2.4 assists, 1.0 blocks, and 0.9 steals per contest. He went on returning to the Canada senior national team in the summer but his 21.7 points, 6.0 rebounds, 2.3 assists, and 2.3 steals per game were not enough for his country to advance to the Olympic Games through the Qualifying Tournament in Victoria.
The NBA has reportedly reached over 90% of vaccinated players with the 2021-22 Regular Season tip-off a few weeks away. Kyrie Irving of the Brooklyn Nets and Bradley Beal of the Washington Wizards are among the most vocal players still standing against the vaccine.