SAN FRANCISCO – As each passing day without accepting a COVID-19 vaccine brings Andrew Wiggins closer to sitting out home games, anxious Warriors fans are hoping someone, some way, somehow, can persuade him to join his vaccinated teammates.
Wiggins will not, however, be subjected to an intervention from his most outspoken teammate.
Draymond Green is sitting this one out.
Too political, and much too personal.
“I don’t think – no, I know – I’m not in any position to go tell him what he should or should not be doing,” Green said Thursday. “And as a leader of this team, I’m not going to go to him and say, ‘Hey, man, we really need ... ’ No. You do what you feel. You do what you feel you want to do. I’m not going go and ask him did he get a polio vaccine, so why would I go ask him if he got a COVID vaccine?”
Wiggins continues to participate in the daily team activities, including controlled scrimmages. He is one of three high profile players, the others being Brooklyn’s Kyrie Irving and Washington’s Bradley Beal, that have resisted taking any of the available vaccines.
The City of San Francisco has mandated that all persons entering an indoor “mega-event,” defined as a gathering that exceeds 5,000, must be fully vaccinated. There are exceptions, and the one that relates to the Warriors is that opposing players – because they are not employed within the city – need not be vaccinated but must adhere to three rules, including testing, before they are permitted to play.
For Wiggins, like Irving, as a member of a team based in Brooklyn, failing to get vaccinated comes with severe consequences. No play, no pay, according to the NBA. If Wiggins remains unvaccinated when the Warriors open their home schedule on Oct. 21, he will not be allowed inside Chase Center, much less join his teammates to participate in the game.
For each game that Wiggins misses, he would forfeit roughly $385,000 in pre-tax pay. His annual salary this season, per the website Spotrac.com, is $31,579,390.
The Warriors, moreover, would be without their starting forward. It’s not ideal for a team anticipating a return to the postseason, but Green, like each of Wiggins’ teammates to address the issue, is clear in his intention to respect Andrew’s decision.
“It’s not my place, nor my business, on whether he gets vaccinated or not – or who else is vaccinated,” Green said. “Or if you’re vaccinated and I’m not, or if he isn’t and she is. That’s none of my business.
“Just because I am a leader of this team, that doesn’t give me the right to go tell him what to do with his. That’s his personal choice.”
Green, pointing out that Wiggins earlier this year became a father for the second time, said there are some affairs that take priority over the job.
“That would be like me telling him, ‘Yo, your wife is going into labor. How dare you leave this team?’ ” Green said. “That’s something that’s personal to him, something that’s health-related, something that’s personal to his family.”