Report: NBA Team, League Personnel Must Be Fully-Vaccinated to Attend Draft Combine

Jenna CiccotelliCorrespondent IIMay 24, 2021

FILE - In this Sept. 2, 2020, file photo, the NBA logo is displayed at center court during an NBA first-round playoff basketball game between the Houston Rockets and Oklahoma City Thunder in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. NBA training camps open around the league Tuesday, Dec. 1, 2020,though on-court sessions will be limited to individual workouts and only for those players who have gotten three negative coronavirus test results back in the last few days. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill, File)
AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill, File

Any team and league personnel who want to attend the NBA's 2021 Draft Combine will have to add an item to their pre-trip to-do list. 

The league has told franchises that anyone making the trip must be fully vaccinated for COVID-19, unless they have a medical or religious exemption, per Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium. 

The combine will be held from June 21-27 at Wintrust Arena and Marriott Marquis in Chicago. 

Teams can send up to 10 personnel members to the on-court activities at the combine, which include five-on-five games and drills, and six staffers will be allowed in the interview portion (h/t Kyle Boone of CBS Sports). 

The update comes more than a month after the league cleared vaccinated personnel to resume international travel, a privilege they haven't had since October 2020. That change allows staff members to travel to international events that are open to the public or all 30 NBA teams, according to ESPN's Jonathan Givony

Vaccination status has already begun to impact the on-court experience. On Saturday, Tim Reynolds of the Associated Press reported coaches who are fully vaccinated are no longer required to wear face coverings on the sideline, though they have to wear them during warmups and halftime. This privilege does not extend to assistant coaches or players on the bench. 

As for players, commissioner Adam Silver said Friday that "close to 80 percent" of NBA players have received vaccinations (h/t Tim Bontemps of ESPN).  

"You just start to see more and more signs that things are coming around," Miami Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra said of the relaxed mask guidelines, per Reynolds. "It brings you a great deal of hope, just in general."