New York and San Francisco won’t be the only NBA cities with local COVID-19 vaccine mandates in place this season. According to Christopher Weber of The Associated Press, the Los Angeles City Council voted on Wednesday to approve one of the country’s strictest vaccine mandates. The ordinance will bar unvaccinated individuals from many indoor venues – including sports arenas – unless they receive a medical or religious exemption.
According to Tim Bontemps of ESPN (Twitter link), L.A.’s vaccine mandate – which goes into effect in November – will include the same non-resident performer exemption that is included in New York’s and San Francisco’s executive orders. That means, for NBA purposes, the mandate will apply to players on the Lakers and Clippers, but not to visiting players.
Fortunately for the two Los Angeles teams, no players currently on their rosters appears likely to be impacted. Both the Lakers and Clippers indicated during training camp last week that their rosters will be fully vaccinated for the start of the 2021/22 season. Still, the mandate is worth keeping in mind when the L.A. clubs are signing free agents or considering potential trades.
Here’s more out of Los Angeles:
- Big men Isaiah Hartenstein and Harry Giles, who are with the Clippers on non-guaranteed contracts, are fighting to earn the team’s final roster spot, and head coach Tyronn Lue has made it clear what he wants to see from them, writes Andrew Greif of The Los Angeles Times. “Defensively, (are) they able to pick up our defense foundation and what we’re trying to do, being in the right spots, being a rim protector?” Lue said on Wednesday. “And offensively just being able to roll, get to the dunker (spot), understand what we’re trying to do offensively, and be able to execute. I think it’s our biggest thing.”
- Lakers head coach Frank Vogel would like to settle on a starting lineup for the regular season and not change it from game to game, tweets Jovan Buha of The Athletic. Finding that starting five remains a work in progress, with Trevor Ariza‘s ankle injury taking one option off the table.
- Now that Pau Gasol has officially retired, the Lakers confirmed this week that they intend to retire his No. 16 jersey, tweets Kyle Goon of The Orange County Register. The team has yet to announce when that ceremony will take place.
- The Lakers are no longer suffering from the post-bubble burnout they experienced last season after such a quick turnaround between their 2020 championship and subsequent training camp, Goon writes for The Orange County Register. “There isn’t that ‘I can’t believe we’re starting training camp already’ cloud over us (now),” Vogel said. “That was real and it stayed with us throughout the year.”