Entering Thursday night’s showdown with the Phoenix Suns, the Boston Celtics are undoubtedly in as good a place as they have been this season. After winning six of their last seven games, the Celtics are currently just one game behind the New York Knicks for the fourth seed in the Eastern Conference.
Moreover, Jayson Tatum is playing his best basketball of the season and the team just enjoyed its first two-day break in several weeks.
While things are looking up now, though, the 2020-21 season has been something of a gauntlet for the club on the whole. Boston has been hit particularly hard by COVID-19, with several players having contracted the novel coronavirus throughout the campaign.
Even now, Evan Fournier finds himself in the league’s health and safety protocols. Meanwhile, Tatum continues to use an inhaler to help him deal with the aftereffects of the illness.
For his part, big man Tristan Thompson described his recent bout with the virus as “a battle.”
Nevertheless, there has apparently been a level of resistance among players and team staff to get vaccinated against COVID-19. So much so, in fact, that the Celtics have been unable to qualify for a loosening of the league’s safety protocols.
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Danny Ainge Dishes on COVID-19 Vaccine Holdouts
On Thursday, Celtics GM Danny Ainge joined 98.5 FM The Sports Hub’s Toucher & Rich for an interview. Among the topics discussed was the level to which his team has been vaccinated now that shots are available to all American adults.
Although Ainge said that players had been vaccinated, he also revealed that the club had multiple holdouts.
“Yeah, the team has been vaccinated; the people that chose to,” he said. “We’ve had a few people on staff that didn’t want to and then a few players that didn’t want to. But yes, they’ve had that opportunity.”
When pressed for more information on those within the organization that had declined vaccination, Ainge avoided revealing any specifics.
“They all have different reasons as to why they didn’t want to get it,” he said.
“Some didn’t feel like we have enough information. And some feel like they just don’t do any vaccinations. They don’t do flu shots, they don’t believe in putting the poison in their bodies. And they just don’t …read more