When he reconnected with his former colleague, Magic Johnson did not just discuss the state of the Los Angeles Lakers with general manager Rob Pelinka. The two also talked about Johnson recently taking the COVID-19 vaccine, and how that could do more than just protect himself from the virus.
“Rob told me a lot of guys, that when I got mine, they felt a little bit better,” Johnson told USA TODAY Sports on Wednesday. “That’s what happens. Guys want to see other guys [get it], and see if it works. They follow that, hopefully.”
More work needs to be done.
Lakers controlling governor Jeanie Buss and Lakers forward Montrezl Harrell posted recently on their respective social media accounts that they received the COVID-19 vaccine. But it is not clear how many other players have taken it, including LeBron James and Anthony Davis. Nonetheless, Lakers coach Frank Vogel said Wednesday the organization has yet to become 85 percent vaccinated.
Today I got my first dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine. I’m so excited to have taken one of the final steps to protect myself and my family from COVID-19! pic.twitter.com/1ZTAqtu3OZ
Once NBA teams reach that threshold, the league’s health and safety protocols allows them to visit their practice facility without masks as well as eat meals on the team plane. Individual vaccinated players have additional freedoms, including outdoor dining, inviting friends and family at home and on the road without testing and not needing to quarantine after potential exposure.
So when Johnson talked last week with Buss, Pelinka and Linda Rambis (the Lakers’ executive director of community relations & special projects), he learned some encouraging news about the players’ comfort level with the COVID-19 vaccine.
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