During his press conference to open the 21-22 NBA regular season, Adam Silver was asked whether he’s disappointed that the league was unable to mandate vaccines with the NBPA. The NBA’s vaccine rate is currently at approximately 96 percent
Kyrie Irving, due to an ordinance in New York City, is the only player ineligible to play in select games.
“Well, at the time we were discussing it with the Players Association, the percentage I believe of players vaccinated was in the low 80s,” said Silver. “I’m not sure they could have predicted at that point precisely how many players would choose not to get vaccinated.
“I won’t try to speak for them, other than the view that some players had, I think including maybe some players who are vaccinated, that it should be individual choice among the players.
“I would have preferred that ultimately that the Players Association agreed to mandatory vaccinations. The officials union agreed to mandatory vaccinations despite oppositions from some of their members.
“But ultimately I think we could have avoided a lot of the adversarial nature of these issues for our players. It’s not so much with the league; I think that gets confused in some cases. This is between Kyrie and New York City right now. This is not a league issue. As you’ve pointed out, it’s not mandatory in the league.
“But I think it would have been best for everyone if every player were vaccinated.”