Tobias Harris started his first media availability of training camp Tuesday by making sure every media member properly wore a mask before he began.
The 76ers power forward’s action led to a reporter to ask him if there should be a COVID-19 vaccine mandate for the NBA.
“I don’t know,” Harris said. “Do I think there should be? I don’t know, man. Even if I did, nobody would listen to me. That’s how I look at it. Even if I did.
“So I’m going to inform my people and people around me that I’m around day-to-day, and I’m going to mind my business as well. That’s what I’m going to do, too.”
More than 90% of NBA players are vaccinated. The National Basketball Players Association, however, has not agreed to a vaccine mandate for its members. NBPA president Michele Roberts released a statement Tuesday addressing that very subject.
“Over 90% of our players are fully vaccinated. Nationally, on average only 55% of Americans are. The real story is not why vaccination isn’t mandated in the NBA. The real story for proponents of vaccination is how can we emulate the players in the NBA.”
Sixers coach Doc Rivers would not disclose the percentage of Sixers players who are vaccinated on Monday. He would only say the team is “very, very, very good” in terms of buy-in among the players.
Story behind Shaq Harrison’s sneakers
Shaq Harrison’s sneakers were a hot topic of his introductory press conference.
The Sixers guard, who signed a training camp deal on Monday, sported a nice pair of white-and-gold Kyrie Irving shoes at practice, courtesy of the team.
“My shoe bag, my shoes I brought actually got left at the airport,” he said. “These are dope, though. I’ll take them. These are comfortable.”
Harrison said his shoe bag was lost after he checked it in at the airport before flying to Philadelphia. The luggage was mistakenly sent to another destination.
The Kyrie sneakers were too big. But Harrison took care of the problem by wearing an extra pair of socks.
Sixers promote Dwayne Jones, announce Blue Coats hirings
The team announced Tuesday that Dwayne Jones has been promoted to assistant coach/skill development. The former St. Joseph’s standout previously served as a Sixers skill development coach. In addition, the Sixers hired Coby Karl as coach of their NBA G League affiliate, the Delaware Blue Coats. Karl is the son of former NBA coach George Karl.
J.P. Clark and Isaiah Fox joined Karl’s staff as assistant coaches. The team also officially announced the hiring of Jamie Young, who joined the staff this summer. Young was previously an assistant with the Boston Celtics.