Utah Jazz: What the organization’s 100% vaccination rate says about the team


Across the NBA on Monday, teams held their annual media day, which includes everything from team photos, player photos and player registration promotions, with coaching executives speaking with reporters to predict the next season 2021-22.

Until Monday, there had been several reports that the refusal of NBA players to be vaccinated against COVID-19 could end up having an impact on their ability to play. But for Utah Jazz, that won’t be a problem.

“We are 100% vaccinated,” Jazz CEO Justin Zanik said. “I’m happy to be able to say it. “

Meanwhile, Brooklyn Nets goalie Kyrie Irving was out of Nets media day due to health and safety protocols and would not comment on his vaccination status, Golden State Warriors goalie Andrew Wiggins was recently denied a religious exemption from the vaccine by the NBA, and a recent Rolling Stone article detailed a growing number of NBA players who may not be able to play or face stricter rules. ‘they are not vaccinated at the start of the season.

Nets players as well as the New York Knicks and Golden State Warriors should be vaccinated, unless otherwise medically or religiously, due to local regulations and mandates.

The issue became a hot topic with the opening of NBA training camps on Tuesday and opening day on October 19. But while other teams control the damage and manage the optics of having players refusing to get vaccinated, the Jazz take pride in not having to deal with vaccine-related distractions.

And it’s not just Jazz players who are completely vaccinated. Everyone in the Jazz organization is.

“I think it is each person’s choice, but the fact that our players and our coaches and the health performance and the whole organization chose to do it to protect each other says a lot. on them, ”Zanik said. “I think it’s a simple gesture for each of them, for each other, as well as our fans and our communities. Yes, I’m proud of them. I’m proud.”

Jordan Clarkson of the Utah Jazz answers questions during media day at Vivint Arena on Monday, September 27, 2021 in Salt Lake City.
Scott G Winterton, Deseret News

There have been players who took longer than others to get the shot, like Rudy Gobert, who said he needed time to think about it and talk to the right people, but in the end he did. said he made the right decision.

“It’s cool that we have the whole group and everyone is ready, making sure we don’t make it a distraction for the team,” said Gobert. “And it shows, it shows we’re ready.”

Jazz guard and reigning sixth man of the year, Jordan Clarkson, was interviewed on Friday by KUTV reporter Hayley Crombleholme shortly after Jazz announced that anyone attending a game this season would need a ” proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours of the event.

The interview rose to fame on social media as soon as it ended, because Crombleholme didn’t realize she was talking to a jazz player and Clarkson let her think he was just a normal non-NBA player.

Laughs aside, Clarkson said he was told that day that there were fans who said they would not come to the games due to the new requirement.

“I mean, if you don’t come, you’re missing out on the best show in town, for real,” Clarkson said Monday. “We have one main goal this year and we’re going to rack up a lot of wins, so you do what you have to do, take your COVID test, get your vaccine.”

Joe Ingles said that with three children at home, including a 10-month-old baby and a 5-year-old son who is immunocompromised, it helps to know he can go to work and be as safe as possible before he gets home. him in his family.

Donovan Mitchell has added his voice to those urging fans who can get the vaccine to do so.

“I think it’s great that we are all well vaccinated,” Mitchell said. “It’s a personal decision, but I definitely encourage not only my team, but people to get vaccinated so that we can overcome this.”

Zanik said his commitment to doing his best to keep people safe goes beyond Jazz and the arena. He said his daughter, Ava, 14, was vaccinated once she was eligible.

“She always wears her mask at school and I said” if anyone asks you why you wear your mask at school tell them that you are protecting Donovan and Rudy and that you are doing your part to help the Jazz to win a championship, ”Zanik said. “I think this all reflects what our players, coaches and staff are committed to. “

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