NBA commissioner Adam Silver said on Saturday that the league will not force players to be vaccinated against COVID-19 and that the logo will not change.
Silver made the comments during his annual, albeit virtual, Atlanta All-Star Weekend address.
Silver said neither player has received the vaccine, but believes most will. The league has said in the past that it will not cut the line.
“My hunch is that most players will ultimately choose to get the shot,” said Silver. “They have to make personal decisions at the end of the day.
“I take this very seriously, and I take the concerns very seriously. But my feeling is that most will ultimately decide that it is in their best interests to get the vaccine.”
Silver also pushed back the charge, led by Kyrie Irving, to change the silhouette logo from – ostensibly – Jerry West to Kobe Bryant.
“Nothing is definitively fixed. But the logo is iconic,” said Silver. “Even changing the logo, even from a purely legal point of view, is not an easy exercise. Not that it should be an obstacle.
“I don’t think this is the right time to change the logo.
“That’s not to say, again, that we won’t go back and look at it at some point. For me, I appreciate the feelings, but I feel like the logo is appropriate at the moment. . “
Silver said that despite the coronavirus being “in charge,” he doesn’t see the league instituting a playoff bubble this summer.
“We don’t plan to return to a bubble at this time,” said Silver. “I’m not excluding anything.
“The virus is firmly in charge, so we have to adapt to circumstances as they arise.”
Additionally, Silver said he expects the 2021-22 season to return to normal.
“I’m pretty optimistic at this point that we can start on time, and that about half of our teams have fans in their arenas right now,” he said.
“If the vaccines continue at the rate they are at, and continue to be as effective as they have been against the virus and its variants, we hope that we will also have relatively full arenas next season.”
Watch the 70th NBA All-Star Game, as well as the Dunk Contest, 3-Point Contest and Skills Challenge live from 11:30 p.m. on Sky Sports Arena on Sunday.