Vaccination split between NBA stars, staff

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There is a divide between players and everyone else in the NBA when it comes to the COVID-19 vaccine, and some are not happy about it.

The NBA mandated that all team employees must be vaccinated - except for players.

Mandatory vaccinations for players has been a non-starter with the National Basketball Players Association.

Though the league has instituted strict protocols for unvaccinated players, there is lingering tension on staffs, ESPN reported.

"Everyone who is vaccinated should be pissed at those who aren't," a veteran assistant coach told ESPN.

"Not requiring NBA players to be vaccinated is horses***."

Protocols for unvaccinated players could include eating and travelling apart from vaccinated teammates as well as being located in a different part of the locker room.

They will also have to quarantine for seven days if they are a close contact while vaccinated players will only have to do so in "unusual circumstances".

The report said face masks were mandatory for all players.

"This is a disease that doesn't differentiate between a player and a staff member," one strength and conditioning coach said.

Approximately 90 per cent of players have been vaccinated, according to the NBAPA, but some highly publicised comments made by high-profile players in the lead-up to training camp raised eyebrows.

Kyrie Irving, Andrew Wiggins and Bradley Beal have made public their opposition to getting the vaccine.

Beal clarified earlier comments on Tuesday saying he would still consider getting the vaccine.

Beal said he's currently not able to be vaccinated because he tested positive for COVID-19 in the past 60 days.

Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James, who is fully vaccinated, on Tuesday said it's not his place to be an advocate to other players.

"I know what I did for me and my family. ... But as far as speaking for everybody and their individualities and things they want to do, that's not my job."

Portland Trail Blazers All-Star Damian Lillard took the same line when he explained his decision to get vaccinated.

"I'm not mad at people who say they need to do their research. But I have a lot of people in my family that I spend time around," Lillard said.

"I'm just not going to put their lives in danger. As a kid, I had to get shots my whole life."

The 2021-2022 season starts on October 19.

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