The NBA has made a statement with regards to players and their vaccination status. On Tuesday, NBA spokesman Mike Bass announced that players who miss games due to vaccination status will not be paid for the games that were missed.
From ESPN’s Tim Bontemps:
In response to an inquiry about what will happen to players who miss games due to executive orders governing vaccinations in NYC & SF, NBA spokesman Mike Bass said, “Any player who elects not to comply with local vaccination mandates will not be paid for games that he misses.”— Tim Bontemps (@TimBontemps) September 29, 2021
This all stems from the local vaccine mandates that were passed in San Francisco and New York. According to this article by ESPN, San Francisco, specifically, is requiring people to be fully vaccinated in order to enter the Chase Center. This creates a dilemma for Golden State Warriors small forward Andrew Wiggins who has declined to take the vaccine. Adding to the situation, local vaccine mandates only apply to the players of teams who reside in that city. This means that unvaccinated players of away teams visiting the Chase Center are exempt from the ruling and are allowed to play.
While the logic of local vaccine mandates is a separate topic on its own, the ruling of revoking game checks is an interesting development for the Warriors as well as the entire NBA. Often times, the business side of basketball has the power to dictate significant changes within the league. Wiggins and other NBA players are refusing to get vaccinated, but if it ends up costing them money, it might be enough to change their minds.
There’s also this from ESPN’s Bobby Marks:
What also needs to be finalized is if this is a league or team issued fine.— Bobby Marks (@BobbyMarks42) September 29, 2021
A league wide fine impacts the luxury tax for Brooklyn and GSW while a team fine for missing a game does not.
Ex: Every game Andrew Wiggins misses could save GSW close to $1M toward the tax. https://t.co/1qmkCRmUln
According to an article by Hoopshype.com, the Warriors have a luxury tax bill of $184 million, making them the highest taxed team in the league. By adding that to their roster payroll of $177.9 million, the team is paying a total of $362 million this season, making them the most expensive team in NBA history. The high cost of the team has always been a hot topic with regards to the Warriors roster, so it will be interesting to see how the financial ramifications of this ruling will impact the team from a cap standpoint.
Regardless, the NBA’s new ruling should, at the very least, make players reconsider their vaccination status not only for the sake of everyone’s well-being, but their own financial security as well.