The NBA has affirmed that it will follow state and local government policies, regarding vaccination mandates for arena events like basketball games.
Beginning September 13, New York City enacts a policy that fans and employees must have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine in order to enter local arenas.
In accordance with local regulations, the NBA specifically sent a memo to the New York Knicks, the Brooklyn Nets and the Golden State Warriors on Wednesday, instructing them to distribute the vaccine to any player who has not yet received it.
Players who cannot suit up for home games risk fines and lost pay, as the league sees the noncompliance as an "inability to comply with local law."
Visiting players are exempt, per the order from the New York City mayor's office. However, players are just about the only people involved with the league for whom vaccination is not mandatory.
The NBA is requiring all team staff who interact with players and referees to be fully vaccinated by the time the season begins.
Fans within 15 feet of the court, regardless of the arena, must be fully-vaccinated or return a negative COVID test prior to the game.
HIPPA regulations prevent teams from disclosing players' health status without permission, however, as of August as much as 90 percent of all NBA players had reportedly been vaccinated.
Brooklyn Nets superstar Kevin Durant urged fans to get vaccinated on a recent podcast, while his teammates Blake Griffin and Bruce Brown participated in a recent NYC vaccination push, along with coach Steve Nash and general manager Sean Marks.
The Nets have a pop-up vaccination site today (Thursday) outside the team's HSS Training Center. The team is also conducting a "special employee sweepstakes" with prizes of up to $25,000 for staff who get vaccinated by the Sept. 13 deadline.