Rudy Gobert’s Utah Jazz have the honor, Thursday, July 30, to restart the NBA season against the New Orleans Pelicans. This resumption takes place in a unique place – Disney World, in Orlando, Florida – where all the teams meet for the rest of the season, under strict sanitary conditions. The American basketball league had decided to suspend the championship on March 11, when the French pivot was the first player to test positive for Covid-19. It relates the daily life of this strange life in isolation.
Isn’t the atmosphere a bit surreal in this “bubble” that you share with the other players?
Not really. Having done a lot of campaigns with the France team since I was young, I think it’s quite similar. What’s different is all the security around and checkpoints, for example, to make sure everyone is following the rules. But, once you’re in, life goes on.
What are the procedures at the health level?
We are tested daily for Covid-19. There is also an application where we must inform in particular, each day, our temperature, our oxygen saturation, our weight changes. And, to move inside the hotel, we wear the mask.
What do you miss the most?
My family. I haven’t seen my mother since February. I have never spent so much time without seeing her in person since I was born! But, overall, it’s okay, I’ve known worse! We are still in good conditions. Food, which was a big question, is getting better and better.
Is it a good decision to resume the season now?
I think that if we had not resumed, the economic consequences would have been bad for the players and for the NBA. But the most important thing was to set up something where we knew we were safe from the virus, as well as in optimal conditions to “perform” over several months. We had to minimize the risk of injury, especially when we went four months without playing.
You were the first player to test positive for Covid-19. How are you today and how did you experience this period?
I feel good physically and psychologically. It feels good to play again and it’s a relief to be able to do what I love the most because at first when all of this happened I didn’t really think about basketball anymore. I thought more about my family, about my health.
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