Los Angeles was the third NBA city, along with San Francisco and New York, to adopt a comprehensive COVID-19 vaccination mandate.
The ordinance was passed by the Los Angeles City Council on Wednesday and signed by Mayor Eric Garcetti. It will be in effect starting Nov. 29. Anyone entering indoor gyms, including Staples Center which is home to the Los Angeles Lakers or LA Clippers, will need to be fully vaccinated. This means that they must have had their COVID-19 vaccine 14 days prior.
Garcetti stated that vaccinating more Angelenos is the only way to end this pandemic. He added that it was essential that they do all they can to increase those numbers. These new rules will encourage more people get the shot and make it safer for customers and workers. This will allow us to save more lives, protect more vulnerable and make our communities safer while fighting this pandemic.
Both the Clippers and Lakers stated last month that they are either fully vaccinated or in the process of becoming fully vaccinated. Rob Pelinka, the general manager of the Lakers, stated in his preseason media conference that the Lakers would be fully vaccinated by opening evening later in this month.
Pelinka, the president of basketball operations for the team, stated that all players currently on the roster will be fully vaccinated on opening night against the Golden State Warriors. "We are really grateful for that."
Anthony Davis, Lakers star, stated later that he believes the Lakers are fully vaccinated.
Although Clippers owner Steve Ballmer declined to discuss their team's vaccination status, President of Basketball Operations Lawrence Frank did. Coach Tyronn Lue stated that the team was fully vaccinated during last week's training camp in San Diego.
Lue stated last week that all of our guys have been vaccinated so we can do what the league asks. We try to follow the rules and then we kinda go from there." We talked about it last week, being able adapt and doing what is necessary to keep playing the game we love. Some players and certain people hold different beliefs. I respect their beliefs. Our guys are all fully vaccinated so I also respect their beliefs."
Los Angeles and San Francisco both require that all visitors to Chase Center, the home of the Warriors, be fully vaccinated. New York requires only one shot of vaccine proof to gain entry to Madison Square Garden and Barclays Center. These are the home of the Brooklyn Nets and the New York Knicks.
However, as in these cities, there is an exception in L.A. to "nonresident performers," meaning that the mandate will only apply to Clippers and Lakers players and not to opposing team players.
Andrew Wiggins, Golden State's forward, was vaccinated over the weekend. He will be able to play in San Francisco home games when the regular season starts later in the month.
After Tuesday's preseason opener against the Warriors at the Portland Trail Blazers, Wiggins stated that he had two options: get vaccinated or not. This was his first public comment since he received the shot. It was hard to make the right decision. It worked out over the long-term and I am still healthy in 10 years.
Nets star Kyrie, however, continues to avoid New York activities because he has not yet been given a shot. The Nets' rest, along with all the rosters for Knicks or Warriors, comply with local mandates.
Irving stated that he knows he will be there no matter what, and would be there to support my team as a leader and to be there for my growing tribe off-court. Irving spoke during a virtual media session during Brooklyn's media day last week. Irving was unable to attend the Barclays Center media day due to his mandate.
"I am aware that the focus must be on the task at hand and there should be no distractions. This is what I did not want to create. With good intentions and a positive heart, I am trying to keep this going.
This report was contributed by Ohm Youngmisuk, Dave McMenamin, and Nick Friedell of ESPN.