The NBA will exempt its players from getting the COVID-19 vaccine while mandating that referees and most staff get vaccinated, ESPN reported Tuesday.
The NBA and NBPA continue to negotiate other COVID-19 protocols for the upcoming season, but the vaccine mandate is a non-starter with the union, per the report. However, the league is putting forth strict protocols for players who are not vaccinated.
Those protocols, not agreed upon yet, could include eating and traveling apart from vaccinated teammates as well as being located in a different part of the locker room, per the report.
Roughly 85 percent of players are vaccinated, the league said.
The league informed teams last month that personnel who work within 15 feet of players or officials during games are required to get vaccinated by Oct. 1, per the report.
Coaches allowed to ditch suits again
NBA coaches will be allowed to dress casually again during the 2021-22 season, The Stein Line reported Tuesday.
In a practice that began in the bubble near Orlando in the COVID-shortened season of 2019-20, coaches will once again be allowed to ditch suits in favor of polos and quarter-zips this upcoming season.
Coaches were required to wear suits -- with collared shirts made mandatory in 2010 -- up until the restart of the league in the bubble in the summer of 2020.
FROM THE ARCHIVES