Back in October, Andrew Wiggins hesitantly got the COVID-19 vaccine. He did not want to get it, but only did so that he could abide by the city of San Francisco’s regulations and play in Golden State Warriors’ home games.
In an interview this week, the 27-year-old Wiggins said that he still wishes he did not get vaccinated.
“I did it, and I was an All-Star this year and a champion. So, that was the good part – just not missing out on the year, the best year of my career,” Wiggins said. “But for my body – I just don’t like putting all that stuff in my body. I didn’t like that and I didn’t like that it wasn’t my choice. I didn’t like that it was either get this or don’t play.”
More than nine months after getting the vaccine, Wiggins is still sticking to his guns. Prior to the 2021-22 season, he asked for a religious exemption and was denied. It was then he had the choice of getting the vaccine or forfeiting half of his salary. If unvaccinated, he would not be allowed to play in any of Golden State’s home games.
“The only options were to get vaccinated or not play in the NBA,” Wiggins said at the time. “It feels good to play. But getting vaccinated, that’s going to be something that stays in my mind for a long time. It’s not something I wanted to do, but I was forced to.”
According to a report by The Athletic’s David Aldridge, a message was sent (unclear if it was literally or metaphorically) from the Warriors to Wiggins:
“Take the f—ing shot. We have a chance to win and [Wiggins missing games] will f— with our winning.”
Andrew Wiggins Gets Vaccine, Helps Lead Warriors to NBA Title
Of course, Golden State went on to win the championship. Andrew Wiggins getting the vaccine and being able to play was a huge part of that. He ranked second on the Warriors – behind only NBA Finals MVP Stephen Curry – with 18.3 points per game against Boston. Meanwhile, he led all players in the series with 8.8 rebounds per game and played excellent defense against Celtics star Jayson Tatum.
There is no doubt that Wiggins immensely helped Golden State win its fourth title in eight years.
During the regular season, Wiggins averaged 17.2 points, 4.5 rebounds, 2.2 assists and one block. He played in 73 of the Warriors’ 82 contests. Because of the team’s depth and workload management, he averaged only 31.9 minutes per game – the lowest of his eight years in the league. But his per-minute numbers were in line with his previous season with Golden State.
A Reuters article back in October mentioned that Wiggins claimed he was the only person in his family to get the vaccine. Hopefully, his fears are ultimately proven to be unnecessary.