By Mardeio Cannon | OBSERVER Columnist
OPINION – October is a sports lover’s dream month! The MLB baseball playoffs are starting and the World Series will be completed at the end of the month. The NFL is in full swing and right now all the games are played in decent weather. The NBA is back in business with exhibition games and the start of the NBA season later this month. The WNBA will also crown a champion this month.
Getting back to the NBA, as I pen this column, 95% of NBA players are fully vaccinated and will not have to undergo stringent NBA protocols reserved for unvaccinated players. There are three high profile NBA players however, who so far have refused to get vaccinated and may risk substantial pay cuts if they start the NBA season unvaccinated. The biggest star is no surprise, Kyrie Irving the All-NBA point guard of the Brooklyn Nets. The other two high profile stars are Bradley Beal, another All-NBA performer with the Washington Wizards and Andrew Wiggins, the outstanding small forward of the Golden State Warriors.
The biggest losers in this situation are the fans of these prospective teams. All NBA teams count on season-ticket holders for revenue to pay their high-priced players and other related expenses of running an NBA team. Every team in the NBA markets their star players in order to entice season ticket holders to plunk down thousands of dollars to guarantee a seat at NBA games. If a high-profile player gets injured and can’t perform, fans can understand that situation and roll with the punches. However, if a player will miss games because they don’t want — or refuse — to get vaccinated, then fans will feel that they are not getting their money’s worth.
The good news for the affected teams with unvaccinated players is that there are about three weeks before the NBA season starts and hopefully peer pressure from their teammates along with missing some hefty checks will make a difference and there will be 100% compliance before the NBA season starts.
Giants Pull Off Regular Season Surprise
At the start of the 2021 MLB season, the San Francisco Giants were picked to finish next to last in their division. The loaded Los Angeles Dodgers were dubbed a “super team” with their high-priced talent. The San Diego Padres acquired some high-priced pitchers along with their budding superstar Fernando Tatis Jr., were expected to battle their SoCal rival to win the National League West division.
However, somebody forgot to tell the San Francisco Giants that they were expected to lose and the Giants went on to win an astounding 107 gamers and the National League West title over the Dodgers who won 106 games this year.Kings head coach Luke Walton should preach the Giants story to the Kings and preach winning the Pacific Division as the Kings’ goal — forget trying for the 6th seed!!