Lakers Will Have All Players Fully Vaccinated By Opening Night, GM Rob Pelinka Says

Adam WellsSeptember 23, 2021

LOS ANGELES, CA - AUGUST 10: Los Angeles Lakers General Manager Rob Pelinka during the Los Angeles Lakers Introductory press conference for Russell Westbrook on August 10, 2021, at Staples Center in Los Angeles, CA. (Photo by Jevone Moore/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Jevone Moore/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Los Angeles Lakers are expecting to have all of their players fully vaccinated before the start of the 2021-22 regular season. 

General manager Rob Pelinka spoke Thursday about the team's status. 

"On opening night, all of the players that are currently signed on our roster will be deemed fully vaccinated," he told reporters. "We’re grateful for that."

Per ESPN's Baxter Holmes and Adrian Wojnarowski, the NBA is not mandating vaccines for players for the upcoming season. 

They noted that negotiations between the league and National Basketball Players Association over protocols are still ongoing, but a vaccine mandate was considered a "nonstarter" for the union. 

The Lakers were one of several L.A.-based sports teams and entertainment venues that announced in August it was requiring all full-time office employees, with limited exceptions, to be vaccinated against COVID-19. 

Since players are not considered office employees, the rule doesn't apply to them. It's unclear how many Lakers players aren't fully vaccinated at this point. 

The Lakers currently have 13 players signed to fully guaranteed contracts and two others signed to a two-way contract. Regular-season rosters can have a maximum of 15 players. 

Los Angeles will open the 2021-22 regular season on Oct. 19 against the Golden State Warriors at the Staples Center.