Golden State Warriors forward Andrew Wiggins is coming off the best year of his career after earning his first All-Star selection and winning his first NBA title. Wiggins, however, still has one regret from the season.
Wiggins faced the possibility of not being allowed to play in home games if he didn't take the COVID-19 vaccine because of local regulations. It was a similar situation to Brooklyn Nets point guard Kyrie Irving, who appeared in just 29 games as the Nets finished seventh in the Eastern Conference and were swept in the first round of the playoffs.
Unlike Irving, Wiggins got vaccinated before the start of the season. While the 27-year-old acknowledged that he went on to have an overwhelmingly successful year, he said he felt like he was forced to do something he didn't want to do.
"I did it, and I was an All-Star this year and 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, so 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."
The FDA-approved COVID-19 vaccines have been proved safe and effective at preventing death and severe illness due to COVID-19. The ingredients in the vaccines—sugar, fats and salts—are similar to those in many foods, and adverse events caused by the vaccines are extremely rare, per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. More than 12 billion doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been administered worldwide.
The No. 1 overall pick in 2014, Wiggins seemed to finally reach his full potential with Golden State. He averaged 17.2 points and shot a career-best 39.3 percent from beyond the arc. He was lauded for his defense throughout the playoffs and considered to be a key part of the Warriors' run to the title.
Wiggins is entering the final season of a $147 million rookie extension he signed with the Minnesota Timberwolves in 2017. He has expressed a desire to remain with Golden State on a long-term deal, but the team has yet to offer him an extension.