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First fouls, now vaccines — will the NBA bend its rules for its superstars yet again?

Kyrie-Irving

It is common knowledge that NBA superstars get more calls than your average role player. Fans rejoice whenever their favorite star receives the benefit of the whistle. Haters go crazy when they see their most despised superstar pile up his points through the free-throw line. Yes, the NBA tweaked its foul-baiting rules, but it does not dismiss that you cannot be touched when you are a superstar in the NBA.

From its looks, the NBA is extending this treatment of its star players to its vaccine rules. Brooklyn Nets star guard Kyrie Irving can only lace his shoes up in road games outside of New York. However, a new policy could change this. An unvaccinated Irving could don the Nets jersey at Barclays Center and even Madison Square Garden if the Nets pay a measly fine. As reported by Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News, below are the “penalties for noncompliance with The Key to NYC, as outlined in Bill de Blasio’s executive order”:

First offense: Warning.
Second offense: $1,000 fine.
Third offense: $2,000 fine.
Fourth offense: $5,000 fine.
Fifth offense to infinity offenses: $5,000 fine.

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Every level of the offense is a whole ton of money if you are an average employee earning minimum wage. However, if you are an NBA franchise worth a couple of billion dollars owned by a Taiwanese billionaire, those fines are chump change. Besides, despite all the controversies surrounding him over the last couple of years, Irving commands the attention of a legion of NBA fans. His presence on the basketball court is enough to trigger fans to purchase those pricey NBA tickets. Not to mention the TV ratings that Irving’s presence garners. 

If you did not see this coming, then safe to say you are not a veteran observer of these sports leagues or multi-million dollar companies. All of them are the same in terms of how they operate. They are willing to stretch or bend their rules if the adjustment benefits them greatly. The NBA tweaks basketball rules in favor of franchise players. It is a way to make them look superhuman. If the NBA can do it to its rule book, it can and will do it anywhere — especially if it rakes in the money. 

Will Adam Silver allow an NBA team to purposely break the rules because they can afford the fine? It wouldn't be the first time.

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