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Shams: Nets players won’t be permitted to suit up at Barclays or practice if unvaccinated

2021 NBA Playoffs - Milwaukee Bucks v Brooklyn Nets Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images

In a series of tweets Wednesday afternoon, Shams Charania reported that the NBA will follow local regulations on vaccinations and that unvaccinated players in New York and San Francisco will not be permitted to suit up for home games.

The rule also applies to practice facilities and “other team activities.”

Specifically, the NBA sent teams in New York and San Francisco a memo Wednesday laying out the policy and instructing the three teams to distribute it to those players who are not vaccinated. The memo also noted that those players who cannot suit up for home games are at risk of losing compensation and/or being fined.

Pursuant to the local orders set forth above, if a player is on an impacted team, unvaccinated, and does not have an approved bona fide medical or religious exemption (the determination of which will be made by the league office), he will not be allowed to enter their home arenas or practice facilities in these jurisdictions or participate in any games, practices, or other team activities conducted there. The failure by any player to provide services called for under his Player Contract as a result of his inability to comply with local law may subject him to a reduction of his Compensation by the NBA or his team, and may also subject him to a fine, suspension, and/or other appropriate action.

A Nets spokesman declined to comment on the policy.

HIPAA regulations do not permit teams to disclose their players’ individual health status —- without their permission. That would include which players are vaccinated and which are not. Several Nets players have volunteered that they had tested positive for COVID, among them Kevin Durant, DeAndre Jordan, James Harden and Nic Claxton. On one of his podcasts, KD urged fans to get vaccinated.

The New York City regulations on vaccinations and public venues go into effect on September 13. Beginning on that date, employees working at (or fans attending) events in the city must have received one dose of the vaccine. The Nets spend their first week of training camp in San Diego and play their first preseason game in Los Angeles. Then, they play preseason games at Barclays Center on October 8 and 24, before the regular season. The Nets first two games are on the road. The first regular season home game is October 24.

The Mayor’s order specifically exempts unvaccinated “nonresident professional athlete/sports team,” meaning visiting teams and players. The order also exempts unvaccinated staff.

Four days ago, Shams also reported the the league has issued edicts that require all staff who interact with players as well as referees to be fully vaccinated before the season...

Shams also reported Wednesday that the league has changed some general rules for fans and players...

Back in March, the NBA and WNBA agreed to a change in health and safety protocols that loosened COVID restrictions if a team was 85 percent fully vaccinated. No word on whether the Nets ever achieved that level of vaccination. As of last month, 90 percent of all NBA players had been fully vaccinated.

Last week, Barclays Center announced a “special employee sweepstakes” with prizes of up to $25,000 for those staff who choose to get vaccinated for COVID-19 by September 13.

Although there’s no sanction laid out for those still unvaccinated by that date, the arena has made it clear that vaccination is a condition of employment going forward.

Also Wednesday, Mayor de Blasio tweeted out a video of Steve Nash, Blake Griffin, Bruce Brown and Sean Marks asking fans to get vaccinated...

And as part of the organization’s community push for vaccines, the Nets have scheduled a pop-up vaccination site Thursday at Industry City, where HSS Training Center is located.