The Players’ Tribune is introducing a new series called The Iso. With so many of us keeping our distance from each other in a variety of ways, we decided to ask some of our favorite athletes to share how they’ve been dealing with life in the Covid-19 world, and how they’re spending their time away from their sport.
We had just landed in L.A. Thursday, the 12th. The plane didn’t have WiFi, and my phone was off. So, I didn’t hear anything until we landed.
Then, I got everything at once.
After we got off the plane, we learned that it was all over. The remainder of the NBA season would be postponed because they were concerned about player safety. And with it being a pandemic, they wanted to make sure that they were taking the right measures for everybody who works in the NBA. That everybody in the organization — on and off the court — would be safe.
This hit, and it was serious. Our team started doing what the league told them, in order to make sure that everyone was good. I knew, right away, that I was gon’ get back to my family and loved ones. That was the whole team’s priority.
It was a trending topic on Twitter — that’s how I first got hip to everything with the virus spreading. My friends started talking about it, everybody was talking about it. I was aware of it, but once it took hold of the league in the way that it did, I was super shocked. It definitely put people on notice. I was just shocked by the way that it happened.
Today is Friday? Yeah. That would make this Day 1. It’s Day 1 that you can’t come to the arena. It’s Day 5 that they’ve had us isolated from each other. They were allowing us in, two and three players at a time, but we just got a text that we had to stop until further notice.
I wake up in the mornings like, Damn, I don’t got nothing to do today. My brain, almost instinctively, says, “Damn, I wish I could go play basketball.” I roll over and grab my phone. There’s news: everything’s worse.
My mom raised me in the church, so I’ve always been grounded. In spite of everything going on, my mental is solid. I don’t lose my way. I know where all my blessings come from, and I am forever grateful.
My family is doing pretty good. My family has just been doing house chores and stuff that we been needing to do around the crib. We’re playing outside more — playing some basketball. I bought this little moonwalk, bouncy thing from Walmart, so the kids can jump on that thing. All I have to do is plug it up and push the air in it from the blowers, and it’s good.
I got three kids, jumping around on the bouncy. My daughter’s name is Ava. She’s four. My oldest son’s name is Danuel (the fourth — D4), and he’s three. And my baby boy’s name is Brady. He’s one. I love being a dad. My daughter and older son are kind of aware of everything going on right now, believe it or not. They are techno-babies, they can sense everything.
I’ll get some working out in when I can, but everything’s closed right now. I can also get it in, here, though. I’ve got weights in my backyard. I live out in the country, so the streets go on and on. I just jog to stay in shape.
Everybody out in the country knows that when you doing house chores, the chore requires your body’s full attention. When you’re lifting a lot of heavy things, moving a lot of heavy things … here, I’ll put it this way: I’m kind of doing my squats, and bench press, and dumbbell curls, and carries by carrying these trees up here.
Me and the team have stayed connected. We talk, mostly just to check on each other and see how we’re doing, and that’s pretty much it. We respect each other’s space, especially in this type of time, though, because we got kids. When kids are involved, everything gets really serious.
I want to speak on March Madness because I know what a player will truly lose without it — it’s not just a game. That tournament can change your life. That tournament can dictate a lot of people’s lives. That’s when you have the opportunity to change your whole trajectory, like the song says: “One shining moment.”
To those young guys that will miss the tournament that you’ve waited your whole life for, keep your head up high. Understand that God makes no mistakes. If they provide you an opportunity to play up in it at a later date, go ahead and do it. Senior year, I know you want that feeling. But, God makes no mistakes. Continue to hold your head up high, work hard, and I’ll see you soon.
Listen, it all works itself out. It will all work itself out. In the grand scheme of things, it was probably time for certain people to sit down with people in their life to work something out, or get closer with someone. This is just part of the Maker’s plans, so we just gotta roll with it. That means everybody following the rules and staying home.
Self-quarantine. Don’t go outside. Just have to stock up and do the best we can to be prepared. There’s so much going on in the news, in politics, but we can’t let ourselves get distracted. We have to get in gear, and lock in to what we need to do for our families. This is a sad time, of course, but I really hope that after we get through this sad time, we come together and actually BE together. That we spread positivity and show love.
He knows we love basketball, so He will present it back to us when the time is right. We just gotta be patient and do whatever needs to get done, so that we can get through this together and get back out there.