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Lakers’ Jeanie Buss receives COVID-19 vaccine, encourages others to do the same

Los Angeles Lakers CEO and governor Jeanie Buss received the COVID-19 vaccine this week, and she used her inoculation to encourage others, including the extended “Lakers Family,” to do the same.

Buss shared an image on Instagram Thursday showing her receiving a shot at a drive-thru vaccination site.

“When your number is called step up and get the vaccine. The sooner we do it the sooner we can reunite #LakersFamily … Together we can beat this virus,” Buss wrote in the Instagram dispatch.

It was reported late last month that some members of the Lakers organization were set to receive COVID-19 vaccines in the days that followed, joining the ranks of numerous NBA teams that have disclosed such information.

Throwing a wrench into the Lakers’ vaccination plans at the time, however, was how the organization’s most visible and notable personality, LeBron James, declined to say whether he would publicly reveal when he receives the COVID-19 vaccine.

The NBA, much like Major League Baseball, recently incentivized receiving COVID-19 vaccines for teams, players, coaches and staffs. The league suggested a possible relaxation of “some of its health and safety protocols for individuals who are fully vaccinated, changes including fewer mandated coronavirus tests, no quarantine requirements following contact tracing issues and even the ability to visit restaurants again,” per an NBA.com report.

On a coincidental note involving Buss’ announcement, the Lakers announced the same day she received the vaccine that the team has scheduled its championship banner ceremony for July 12.

Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium also reported Thursday that fans will be allowed to attend the ceremony, although the exact number who will be allowed into Staples Center is unclear at this time.

While the banner unveiling has been officially scheduled, it remains to be seen when the Lakers will hold a championship parade. Concerns over social distancing and the like amid the pandemic led to a postponement of such a celebration. That said, there has been some speculation that the Lakers and the reigning World Series champion Dodgers may potentially host a joint championship parade at some point in the future.