NBA

Warriors potentially playing home games without Wiggins 'not ideal' says Curry

By Sports Desk September 27, 2021

The thought of playing more than half of their games without Andrew Wiggins is "not ideal" for the Golden State Warriors, Stephen Curry said Monday. 

The NBA announced Friday it had denied Wiggins' request for an exemption from COVID-19 vaccination requirements, and the forward's status was the prime topic of discussion at the team's pre-season media day. 

Beginning October 13, San Francisco will require vaccinations for all participants age 12 and older at large indoor events unless an exemption is granted for medical or religious reasons. 

Wiggins had sought one on medical grounds, but the NBA's denial means he will not be eligible to play in home games at Chase Center. 

Golden State star Curry, who has been an outspoken advocate of vaccinations, was asked whether he believes Wiggins' decision is acceptable as a member of a team. 

"Acceptable is a strong word," he said. "It's not ideal. ... We hope we have a full team for the entire year and understand that, on all accounts and what the research says and things like that, that [the vaccines are] safe and we're all in the same boat.

"So we hope he's available, and if not, we'll adjust accordingly. But we hope not."

Wiggins deflected numerous questions about the topic during his session with reporters Monday, repeatedly saying he was going to keep his thoughts on the matter "private". 

One reporter noted that Wiggins said last year he would get vaccinated if he had to in order to play and asked him if he felt like his back was against the wall in having to choose between his personal beliefs and being able to play. 

"Back is definitely against the wall," he said. "But just going to keep fighting for what I believe, whether it's one thing or another, get the vaccination or not get the vaccination, who knows.

"I'm just going to keep fighting for what I believe and what I believe is right. What's right to one person isn't right to the other." 

While controversy swirls around Wiggins, the men at the top of the organisation expressed the hope that the situation would be resolved by the time the regular season begins on October 19.

Warriors head coach Steve Kerr said he has not reached the point of trying to figure out how to account for regular absences by unvaccinated players. 

"I haven't spent any time thinking about that, nor will I. We'll just see how everything plays out. We're hopeful that it is all resolved in the next couple of weeks but we are going into camp [Tuesday] with a plan to have everybody out on the floor and ready to roll."

General manager Bob Myers echoed that sentiment, saying he was not interested in discussing hypotheticals and is preparing to start the season with the full team available. 

"I get why people have to wonder," he said. "But we're going to deal in reality now and that's what we're doing each day."

Wiggins played 71 games last NBA season, averaging 18.6 points, 4.9 rebounds and 2.4 assists per game.

Related items

  • Rummenigge expects 'very responsible' Kimmich to take COVID-19 vaccine soon Rummenigge expects 'very responsible' Kimmich to take COVID-19 vaccine soon

    Karl-Heinz Rummenigge expects "very responsible" Bayern Munich midfielder Joshua Kimmich to show he is a role model by taking the coronavirus vaccine.

    Germany midfielder Kimmich stated that he wants to wait for further research to be conducted before he is jabbed.

    The 26-year-old and his Bayern team-mate Leon Goretzka started a 'We Kick Corona' initiative last year to help those affected by COVID-19.

    Former Bayern president Rummenigge says Kimmich should not be criticised for wanting to know if there may be any long-term effects of being vaccinated but believes he should take the jab and will in the near future.

    The Germany great told Bild Live: "First of all, I would like to say to Kimmich that he may be the Bundesliga player who has a role model function in many ways. 

    "I know him as a great person, as his 'We kick Corona' initiative shows. Of course, it came as a surprise that he wasn't vaccinated. That has now led to a discussion. 

    "In February of this year, I suggested that it would be wise to vaccinate footballers early – as an example for everyone else. 

    "I've been horribly criticised. Now it has turned a little. What Joshua does is very responsible. He would like to wait for things like the long-term effects for himself and he is tested every other day. As a role model, it would still be better if he were vaccinated.

    "I am convinced that he may be vaccinated soon. He is a totally responsible person and player. We can be very happy that he is part of these two teams in our country."

    Rummenigge does not believe players should be left with no choice.

    He added: "The compulsory vaccination does not lie with football, but with politics. Due to the fact that one or the other is not vaccinated in Bavaria, we now have a discussion. But that shouldn't be introduced through football."

    Head coach Julian Nagelsmann, who is fully vaccinated, was absent for the Bundesliga champions' 4-0 hammerings of Benfica and Hoffenheim this week after testing positive for COVID-19.

  • Crowd of 80,000 plus could be at MCG for Boxing Day Ashes Test Crowd of 80,000 plus could be at MCG for Boxing Day Ashes Test

    Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews is hopeful a crowd of at least 80,000 will be able to attend the Boxing Day Ashes Test at the MCG.

    Melbourne residents this week celebrated coming out of a sixth lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic.

    No city in the world has been locked down more than Melbourne, but further easing of restrictions have been mapped out by the Victorian government.

    There is optimism that there will be a huge attendance when Australia do battle with England in the third Test in two months' time, provided vaccination rates continue to increase.

    Andrews said on Sunday: "I want to see 80,000 plus people at the Boxing Day Test on day one, that's what I want to see.

    "We are determined to deliver that. It won't be easy. I think selling the tickets will be pretty easy."

    A crowd of 78,113 for the Anzac Day AFL match last April was the biggest at the MCG, which can hold in excess of 100,000 people, since the start of the pandemic.

  • Theo Hernandez available for Milan after negative coronavirus test Theo Hernandez available for Milan after negative coronavirus test

    Theo Hernandez has been cleared to return to action for Milan after recovering from coronavirus.

    The 24-year-old tested positive for COVID-19 upon returning from international duty with France nearly two weeks ago.

    He was subsequently forced to sit out the Serie A wins over Hellas Verona and Bologna, either side of Tuesday's 1-0 loss to Porto in the Champions League.

    However, Milan announced on their official website on Sunday that Hernandez's latest coronavirus test came back negative and he is now available for selection.

    Stefano Pioli's side face Torino and Roma in Serie A over the next week, before hosting Porto and bitter rivals Inter in crucial games ahead of the next international break.

    Fode Ballo-Toure has filled in during Hernandez's absence, but the Frenchman's return will be considered a huge positive for Pioli.

     

    Since joining Milan in July 2019, Hernandez's combined 25 goals and assists has been bettered by only four defenders in Europe's top five leagues – Trent Alexander-Arnold, Raphael Guerreiro (both 28), Achraf Hakimi and Robin Gosens (both 35).

    The 93 chances created by Hernandez in Serie A over that same timeframe is third to Federico Dimarco (97) and Juan Cuadrado (114), the latter of whom has often played further forward.

    Prior to being struck down by coronavirus, Hernandez played a crucial role in France's Nations League success with a 90th-minute winner in the 3-2 semi-final victory over Belgium and an assist for Kylian Mbappe's winner in the 2-1 final triumph over Spain.

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.