While Kyrie Irving has been the poster boy for the NBA’s unvaccinated players, which caused the mercurial star to be out for more than half the season, Boomers star Matisse Thybulle has flown under the radar.
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Thybulle was listed by the 76ers as “ineligible to play” ahead of the team’s game against the Raptors in Toronto on Friday (AEST).
The 25-year-old is not vaccinated against COVID-19 and was forced to miss the game against the Raptors because Canada implemented a decision that all players must be fully vaccinated in order to play in the country, with the NBA also adjusting its rules. requiring all players to be fully vaccinated in order to cross the border.
The Boomer faces a $41,000 fine and his vaccination status could have more serious implications for his team.
If the Eastern Conference standings remain the same, the game in Canada serves as a prequel with the Sixers and Raptors meeting in the first round of the playoffs.
If that happens, Thybulle will be kicked out of all games played in Canada, leaving a hole in the squad due to his defensive abilities.
Thybulle was selected to the NBA All-Defensive Second Team last season and has thrived this year, averaging 1.1 steals and 1.8 blocks in 25.4 minutes per game.
That stat puts him in elite company, with just seven other NBA players averaging at least one steal and one block per game, but all of them spend more time on the court than Thybulle.
The Philadelphia star rose to prominence during the Boomers’ bronze medal campaign at the Tokyo Olympics last year.
Thybulle holds dual citizenship with Australia and the United States and played his first game for the Boomers just weeks before the Tokyo Olympics.
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