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Andrew Wiggins had a phenomenal season in Golden State, one that culminated with him helping the Warriors win their fourth title in eight years.
That marked his first NBA title, too.
Yet on Monday, Wiggins said he regretted receiving a COVID-19 vaccine at all — which allowed him to play full time with the Warriors after he held out during the offseason.
“I still wish I didn’t get [vaccinated], to be honest with you,” Wiggins said, via FanSided. “But you’ve got to do what you’ve got to do.”
Wiggins was one of the last notable holdouts in the league to get the coronavirus vaccine ahead of the season. Due to local ordinances in San Francisco, Wiggins wouldn’t have been allowed to participate in home games with the Warriors at the Chase Center had he remained unvaccinated for much of the year.
His situation was very similar to that of Brooklyn Nets star Kyrie Irving, who didn’t get vaccinated and missed all but 29 games this season.
Had Wiggins followed Irving’s lead, he would have missed what was undoubtedly the best season of his career. Wiggins averaged 17.2 points and 4.5 rebounds per game while earning his first All-Star nod, and shot a careerhigh 39.3% from the 3-point line.
"I did it, and I was an All-Star this year and [a] champion, so that was the good part, just not missing out on the year, the best year of my career," Wiggins said, via FanSided. "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 vaccine, of course, is free and is both safe and extremely effective at preventing severe illness, hospitalization and death related to the coronavirus. More than 1 million Americans died due to the coronavirus throughout the pandemic, according to The New York Times, and the country is still averaging more than 126,000 new cases each day. About two-thirds of eligible Americans are fully vaccinated.
While he certainly didn’t have to get the vaccine, it seems like everything more than worked out for Wiggins in the end.