Watch the 70th NBA All-Star Game, along with the Dunk Contest, 3-Point Contest and Skills Challenge live from 11.30pm on Sky Sports Arena on Sunday
NBA commissioner Adam Silver said Saturday that the league won’t require players to get the COVID-19 vaccine and that the logo is not changing.
Silver made the comments during his annual, albeit virtual, All-Star weekend address from Atlanta.
Silver said no players have received the vaccine but believes that most will when their turn comes. The league has said in the past it won’t cut the line.
“My hunch is that most players ultimately will choose to get vaccinated,” Silver said. “They have to make personal decisions at the end of the day.
“I take that very seriously, and I take concerns very seriously. But my sense is most will, ultimately, decide it is in their interest to get vaccinated.”
Silver also pushed back on the charge, led by Kyrie Irving, to change the silhouette logo of – ostensibly – Jerry West to Kobe Bryant.
“Nothing’s permanently fixed. But the logo is iconic,” Silver said. “Even changing the logo, purely even from a legal standpoint, isn’t an easy exercise. Not that that should be the impediment.
“It doesn’t feel to me that this is the appropriate moment to be changing the logo.
“That doesn’t mean, again, that we won’t turn back and look at it at some point. To me, I appreciate the sentiments, but it feels like the logo is appropriate right now.”
Silver said despite the fact the coronavirus is “in charge”, he does not see the league instituting a playoff bubble this summer.
“We’re not considering going back to a bubble right now,” Silver said. “I don’t rule anything out.
“The virus is firmly in charge, so we need to adjust to circumstances as they present themselves.”
Further, Silver said he expects the 2021-22 season to go back to normal.
“I’m fairly optimistic at this point that we will be able to start on time, and that roughly half of our teams have fans in their arenas right now,” he said.
“If vaccines continue on the pace they are, and they continue to be as effective as they have been against the virus and its variants, we’re hopeful that we’ll have relatively full arenas next season as well.”
Watch the 70th NBA All-Star Game, along with the Dunk Contest, 3-Point Contest and Skills Challenge live from 11.30pm on Sky Sports Arena on Sunday.