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Lakers Set to Meet 85% Vaccine Threshold to Allow for More Team Activities, Per Vogel

Juan Ocampo/NBAE via Getty Images

The Los Angeles Lakers will soon be able to enjoy relaxed COVID-19 protocols, as 85 percent of the team will be vaccinated against the virus by Monday, according to head coach Frank Vogel (h/t Rachel Nichols of ESPN). 

In March, the NBA and the league’s players association agreed to new guidelines for teams that reach that threshold: 

The update comes weeks after Vogel told reporters the team wasn’t close to reaching the 85 percent threshold, and also in the wake of star LeBron James’ violation of the league’s COVID-19 protocols. 

James, who won’t share whether or not he has or is planning to receive a vaccine, attended a promotional event for a tequila brand that he is involved with in the lead-up to the team’s play-in game against the Golden State Warriors, according to ESPN’s Dave McMenamin. While guests had to show proof of a negative test or vaccination, the event was still a violation of the protocols. 

ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski said James will not be suspended for the violation. 

“Anything I do off the floor is predicated to my family, for the majority—for 99.9 percent of that,” James said. “So it’s about the health and safety of my family, and that’s what it came down to.” 

Per McMenamin, he also said his vaccination status is “not a big deal,” maintaining his stance from March. But Dennis Schroder, who has had two separate stints away from the team because of health and safety protocols may have let the cat out of the bag on the question, telling a German-language publication that he joined James as the only Lakers players to not be vaccinated.

He later said he was the only one who had not been vaccinated (h/t McMenamin).

Meanwhile, team governor Jeanie Buss, Vogel, Anthony Davis and Montrezl Harrell have all said they have been vaccinated, per Mark Medina of USA Today

“I think there’s obvious benefits from the standpoint of us being able to do more things with each other in the cities that we’re going to,” Vogel said. “Something that’s been absent league-wide in terms of team building and team bonding for all of us.” 

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