The NBA is requiring all team personnel members who have in-person contact with players and referees to be fully vaccinated during the 2021-22 season, the league told its clubs Friday in a memo that was obtained by the Associated Press..
NBA teams increased fan attendance gradually throughout the 2020-21 season. As recently as February, the Sixers had approximately 100 family members, staff members and friends at games. That spiked to 100% capacity at Wells Fargo Center by Game 5 of the first-round playoff series against the Wizards on June 5.
Now the NBA is taking another step in its health and safety protocols plans. Its most recent mandate dictates that coaches, equipment staff, public relations staff, team doctors and any other staffers who have in-person contact with players and referees must be fully vaccinated.
Vaccinations are not yet mandated for players, subject to negotiations with the players’ union.
A Sixers official said the organization will continue to remain in compliance with COVID-19 protocols.
Rather than create a mandate last season, the league limited in-person interaction with players and referees. Traveling parties of Tier 1 members couldn’t surpass 45 people. Other personnel members who were considered Tier 2 individuals were required to wear masks and socially distance from players. The restrictions were eventually loosened as staff members and players received vaccination shots.
The vaccination requirement is the NBA’s biggest step yet, and appears similar to the NFL’s health and safety protocols. The NFL isn’t requiring players to be fully vaccinated, but it does mandate that all staff members receive the vaccine.
Anthony Tolliver waived by Sixers
The Sixers waived 36-year-old forward Anthony Tolliver ahead of his Aug. 27 guarantee date. He was scheduled to make close to $1.5 million in the second year of his veteran’s minimum contract.
Tolliver played in 11 games last season and scored 17 total points. It was the lowest output in his 13-year career. He averaged 1.5 points and 0.9 rebounds on 23.5% shooting.
Tolliver is known for his 37.3% career three-point shooting. But with Mike Scott playing 16.7 minutes off the bench in a similar role, the minutes weren’t there for Tolliver.