ESPN's Ramona Shelburne and Adrian Wojnarowski reported on Wednesday that some Los Angeles Lakers players and/or staff members will be receiving COVID-19 vaccine shots this week.
HIPAA regulations prevent those associated with the franchise from unveiling who is planning to receive a shot. As Shelburne and Wojnarowski explained, the Atlanta Hawks, New Orleans Pelicans, Portland Trail Blazers and Miami Heat are among NBA clubs that have confirmed some of their employees have received vaccine doses. The Associated Press (h/t NBA) reported last Friday that at least 14 Atlanta players have received their first vaccinations.
NBA commissioner Adam Silver is not yet requiring players or other league personnel to receive vaccines, but he said in January that he'd be willing to feature players in public service announcements addressing the safety of the shots. Julius Erving, Bill Russell, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Gregg Popovich are among noteworthy NBA personalities who have already appeared in such videos.
The Heat generated headlines on Tuesday by becoming the first NBA team to announce plans to open in-arena seating sections only to fans fully vaccinated against COVID-19 beginning with an April 1 game against the Golden State Warriors. Other NBA teams are expected to adopt similar protocols before the current regular season ends in May.