With the COVID-19 vaccine rollout underway in the U.S., and the CDC's guidelines updated, the NBA has done the same.
The league informed teams on Saturday that fully vaccinated head coaches can coach without a mask. Masks will still be required of coaches during pregame warmups, introductions, and halftime.
Players and assistant coaches are still required to wear masks on the sidelines.
In the memo, the league noted they made the change “to facilitate in-game coaching duties, and in light of vaccination rates among NBA head coaches.”
Although the NBA has eased its guidelines for head coaches, it’s worth noting some fully vaccinated coaches may still want to wear a mask as their personal preference.
The league relaxing their mask policy aligns with not only the CDC, but the states as well, as teams have allowed fans back to the arena. It's a sign of growing optimism the league can return to where they once were.
Back on May 7, the Blazers were one of the last teams to allow fans back inside. They did so at 10% capacity, and are reportedly looking into increasing their capacity with “unvaccinated” and “vaccinated” sections.
Back in March, the Blazers, Pelicans, and Hawks announced their players received at least one dose of the vaccine,
The Blazers announced that 13 players had received a shot, including Jusuf Nurkic, who publicly announced his vaccination.
It will be interesting to see how each team handles the COVID-19 vaccine, as the Mavericks announced back in March they won't require their players to be inoculated.