NBA Legends Get Covid-19 Vaccines, Here Are Their Messages

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NBA Legends Get Covid-19 Vaccines, Here Are Their Messages

Dr. J is not a medical doctor. But Julius “Dr. J” Erving has a health-related message for you, and it’s about Covid-19 vaccines.

The NBA has just served up the following PSA (public service announcement) featuring Erving getting the vaccine:
Of course, “served up” is not quite a basketball term. But the Basketball Hall of Famer did use some hoops lingo when referring to the Covid-19 vaccine in the video: “One thing I have in common with some of the other Hall of Famers is we’re never afraid to take the big shot. And today is no different. I’m getting vaccinated for my family, my friends and my community. Let’s do this together. For more information on the vaccines, visit”

As a 71-year-old, Erving falls into the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Phase 1c priority group for getting the Covid-19 vaccine, right behind the highest (Phase 1a) priority group of healthcare personnel and residents of long-term care facilities and the second highest (Phase 1b) priority group of frontline essential workers and persons 75 years and older. Phase 1c includes those who are from 65 to 74 years old, who 16 to 64 years old with underlying medical conditions, and other essential workers.

Dr. J is not the first NBA Legend to appear in an NBA Covid-19 vaccine PSA. The NBA’s all-time leading scorer and fellow Hall of Famer Kareem Abdul-Jabbar had kicked things off back on January 17 with the first PSA seen here:

Yeah, yeah, yeah, “kick-off” is not a basketball term either. So perhaps “tipped-off” would have been a better term. The 73-year-old Master of the Sky Hook offered the following hook about the vaccine: “Because of the Covid-19 virus, we’ve had to find new ways to be together, we’ve had to find new ways to communicate, we had to find new ways to play and we have to find new ways to keep each other safe.’ 

Next on deck was San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich on January 28 with the following PSA:
Alright on deck isn’t a basketball term either, but you get the message. The 72-year-old Popovich noted after the shot: “I didn’t even feel it!”

Then on February 4, Hall of Famer Bill Russell, an 11-time NBA champion, appeared in the third PSA:
In the video, the 87-year-old longtime Boston Celtic center called the Covid-19 vaccine “one shot I won’t block. No Celtics were harmed during my shot.”

Four NBA legends, four Covid-19 shots (most likely soon to be eight), four PSAs, and lots of NBA titles between them. Even prior to these PSA’s the NBA has been involved in the Covid-19 vaccine roll-out. Back in December, Leroy Sims, MD, the NBA’s medical director, received the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine along with other front-line health care professionals. Also that month Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer formed a bipartisan commission to educate residents on the Covid-19 vaccines’ safety and effectiveness, commission that included Detroit Pistons All-Star Blake Griffin. And in January, as Brad Townsend reported for The Dallas Morning News, Dallas Mavericks CEO Cynt Marshall, who is a colon cancer survivor, received her first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine and said:

“When you look at how COVID-19 has hit the African-American community and communities of color in such a big way, we just said, ‘If we can help send a message to build trust and help people stop and do research and get the vaccine,’ that would be great.”

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Posted 24 Feb 2021

Posted 07 Jul 2021

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