Pressure to get vaccinated
There is an ongoing word conflict between those who push the vaccination for players and athletes and those who chose not to get it. There are other players in the NBA, aside from MPJ, who also refuse to get vaccinated for personal reasons - according to the league 10% of the players are unvaccinated. However, new city policies might change their minds. New York and San Francisco now require players or athletes to get vaccinated before playing in indoor arenas.
Aside from city policies, new NBA rules are also going to be in effect. The health and safety protocol of the league states that unvaccinated players won’t get the same level of freedom as their vaccinated teammates. This means they are not allowed to eat in the same room with their teammates, and they will be tested more frequently. You can find out more about the news health protocol in Jonathan Concool's analysis on Basketball News.
Travel restrictions will also be in place, whether on home or road games. Unvaccinated players will most likely be cooped up in their home market or team hotels. If strict NBA rules and new city policies could not get MPJ to change his mind, one thing might.
New max deal could force MPJ to get vaccinated
It appears Michael’s stance on vaccination remains unchanged. Here's why the young forward is reluctant to get it.
“For me, I had COVID twice, I saw how my body reacted, and although the chances are slim, with the vaccine, there’s a chance you could have a bad reaction to it. For me, I don’t feel comfortable.”
Michael Porter Jr., Nuggets’ Michael Porter Jr.: “I don’t feel comfortable” taking vaccine
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A new max contract worth $207 million in the next five years could force the shooting forward to get vaccinated. The new deal means that the Denver Nuggets see him as an essential piece to complete their championship puzzle. The Nuggets see MPJ as another star to complement Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray.
Max players understand there's a greater level of responsibility that comes when you sign the dotted line. The camaraderie of the locker room and the desire to be there for your teammates may turn out to be the motivation for players still considering their options to get the shot.
Many players, such as Marcus Smart, shared that loyalty to teammates was the ultimate reason they decided to get vaccinated. As the season goes on, and they spend more time around their teammates, more players will do the same. Porter Jr.'s new status in Denver could make him change his mind as well.