Report: Warriors' Andrew Wiggins Received Message to 'Take the F--king' COVID Vaccine

Mike Chiari@@mikechiariFeatured Columnist IVApril 26, 2022

Golden State Warriors forward Andrew Wiggins brings the ball up against the Denver Nuggets during the second half of Game 1 of an NBA basketball first-round playoff series in San Francisco, Saturday, April 16, 2022. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)
AP Photo/Jeff Chiu

At least one anonymous NBA executive believes Golden State Warriors wing Andrew Wiggins may have been privately pressured to get the COVID-19 vaccination prior to the 2021-22 season.

According to David Aldridge of The Athletic, the exec said, "The message got sent: 'Take the f--king shot. We have a chance to win. [Wiggins' potential absence] will f--k with our winning.'"

Wiggins was initially hesitant to get vaccinated, and although the Warriors never publicly called for him to do so, he announced in early October that he had gotten vaccinated in order to avoid missing any games.

It wasn't until the NBA declined a religious exemption that Wiggins got vaccinated, saying he felt "forced" to do so, per ESPN's Nick Friedell.

At the time, Wiggins added:  "The only options were to get vaccinated or not play in the NBA. It was a tough decision. Hopefully, it works out in the long run and in 10 years I'm still healthy."

When the season began, an ordinance was in place in San Francisco that required anyone over the age of 12 to show proof of vaccination to attend indoor events. That included Warriors players entering Chase Center.

After getting vaccinated, Wiggins appeared in 73 regular-season games for the Dubs and was a key contributor offensively, averaging 17.2 points, 4.5 rebounds, 2.2 three-pointers made, 2.2 assists and 1.0 steal per game.

The 2014 No. 1 overall draft pick was also named an All-Star for the first time in his eight-year career.

With Wiggins in a strong supporting role alongside Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green and Jordan Poole, the Warriors secured the No. 3 seed in the Western Conference with a 53-29 record and reached the playoffs for the first time since the 2018-19 season.

Now, with the Warriors up 3-1 on the Denver Nuggets in their first-round playoff series and the top-seeded Phoenix Suns struggling against the No. 8 New Orleans Pelicans due to the absence of Devin Booker, Golden State may be the favorite to go the distance out West.

That may not have been possible without Wiggins' scoring ability on a game-to-game basis throughout the 2021-22 campaign.