Matisse Thybulle decided not to get fully vaccinated against the coronavirus a long time ago.

It was a choice the 76ers swingman thought he could keep private. However, all that changed when he was deemed ineligible to play in Thursday’s 119-114 loss to the Toronto Raptors to Scotiabank Arena. Since Jan. 15, unvaccinated players have not been permitted to enter Canada.

The fourth-seeded Sixers will face the fifth-seeded Raptors in a best-of-seven first-round Eastern Conference playoff series beginning Saturday at 6 p.m. Thybulle will be ineligible to play in Canada for Games 3, 4, and 6 (if necessary).

Thybulle received the first dose of the Pfizer vaccine for COVID-19 but never received the second shot.

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“People are always going to wonder why,” he said after Sunday’s 118-106 victory over the Detroit Pistons at the Wells Fargo Center. “I was raised in a holistic household where anti-vax is not like a term that was ever used. It’s a weird term that has been kind of thrown around to just label people.

“We grew up with Chinese medicine and naturopathic doctors. And just with that upbringing, coming into this situation, I felt like I had a solid foundation of medical resources that could serve me beyond what this vaccine could do for me.”

Thybulle’s late mother, Elizabeth, earned a degree in naturopathic medicine while fulfilling her passion for health, nutrition, and fitness.

Thybulle did not get fully vaccinated because he didn’t believe it would benefit him. He said he didn’t see any benefits that outweighed what he could seek from alternative medicine.

The third-year player admitted that he’s had to reconsider and look at remaining unvaccinated differently as the possibility of facing the Raptors in the postseason loomed.

Thybulle received the first dose of the vaccine last summer because he was under the impression it would prevent him from getting COVID and transmitting it to others.

“And I felt like if I’m going to be a part of society, in the position that I’m in, I have to do what’s right for the greater good,” he said. “That argument for the greater good held a lot of weight for me. As things progressed, as this virus has changed many different ways, it just showed through the science that wasn’t the case anymore. That even while being vaccinated, you could still spread the disease.

“So, for me, in my reasoning, it felt like getting vaccinated was not something I needed to do to protect other people and something I had to do to protect myself.”

So based on his holistic background and the way he views medicine, Thybulle felt he would be secure by going to the doctors if he had COVID.

However, to protect yourself and others, the CDC recommends that everyone who is eligible receive a vaccine to slow the spread of COVID-19, including the two-dose Pfizer and Moderna vaccines and one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine. People who are up to date are also advised to receive a booster shot.

Thybulle was placed in the NBA’s COVID-19 health and safety protocols twice this season. He treated himself holistically during those occasions.

The Sixers suggested and offered to get him vaccinated. But they never forced it, just encouraged it.

Thybulle said it was difficult to let teammates know he would be unavailable for a portion of the playoffs.

“Like I said, I made this decision a while ago where this situation I’m facing right now is not a factor,” he said. “It was not a part of the decision-making because, at the time, I would be available for my team and I would be available to play and not restricted in any way to do my job.

“And having had the stance I’ve had for almost a year now, I just felt like I could be forced to do it because of rules and regulation changes. It just seemed, for me, the right thing to do.”

Thybulle knows there are repercussions to his decision and that he will miss road games and the opportunity to be there for his teammates. He knows that there are fans, teammates, coaches, and front-office executives who are upset and don’t understand his choice.

But Thybulle said he’s lucky to have support for his decision from his team — even though some may disagree with it.

» READ MORE: Matisse Thybulle’s absence — and unvaccinated status — came as no surprise to the Sixers | Keith Pompey

“With that being said, I’m still going to be there,” he said, “and give 110% every time I’m on the court”

Thybulle is aware that this stance could impact his career. He has accepted that. Thybulle noted that his father, Greg, told him growing up that he was free to do whatever he wanted as long as he was willing to accept the consequences.

“I considered deeply all the different avenues,” he said. “Of course, I’ve accepted that this could hurt money, contracts, reputation. But I felt like this is the right thing I need to do for myself.”