The COVID-19 vaccination requirement in Canada could give the Toronto Raptors an advantage in the playoffs. With a playoff matchup against them becoming a possibility, the Boston Celtics have yet to firmly state whether every player would be available to play in a potential playoff series north of the border.
After team president Brad Stevens refused to say whether the Celtics players are all vaccinated, Jaylen Brown did the same. Boston’s star wing touted his respect for privacy as a reason for not wanting to discuss vaccination statuses.
Jaylen Brown on his ability to play in Toronto: "Last year I missed the playoffs. This year, from a competitive standpoint, I'm excited and ready to play against anybody. As a VP of the Players Association, it's part of my job to respect privacy. You won't hear me comment."
— Keith Smith (@KeithSmithNBA) April 3, 2022
Brown dancing around the question isn’t a great look, though him saying he can play against anybody does seem like a subtle hint that he will be able to play in Toronto. He previously said that taking the vaccine is a personal choice. Al Horford took a similar approach to Brown the last time the Celtics played the Raptors, saying simply that he will be ready to play whatever opponent they draw in the playoffs.
The Celtics can refuse to spill the beans all they want but their vaccination statuses will be revealed if they have to play Toronto. If any players are unvaccinated, it could put them at a massive disadvantage. Robert Williams’ knee injury will already leave them shorthanded.
Boston is currently third (and just half a game ahead of fourth-place) in the Eastern Conference while Toronto is fifth. The potential first-round matchup between them is certainly a possibility. The Celtics may not have any issues at all with vaccinations, though the cryptic comments suggest that there may be an underlying issue.