There really was no way to fully prepare for such sheltering place protocols ahead of the COVID-19 outbreak.
This unprecedented time in the world still feels very surreal at times.
For the Trail Blazers leader Damian Lillard, he is working on keeping sharp and focused during the NBA suspension.
I’ve been running in the morning. I’ve been getting lifts in. I’ve been doing as much core as you can possibly do. I’ve been in the steam room. Talking to other guys around the league, talking to my teammates… Talking to my coaches, just trying to stay connected. Trying to stay connected to that environment and to people who share that space with me, and I think that’s the best way to at least keep that edge because it’s kind of starting to feel like postseason, like the season is over. So, we’ll see. -- Trail Blazers All-Star Damian Lillard
Lillard has not been tested for COVID-19, but says he is following public health officials protocols and self-isolating, along with the NBA’s guidelines during this time and is not exhibiting any symptoms.
“I haven’t been able to get into the training facility," Lillard said. "At the moment, they don’t want us in the practice facility. They don’t want us training with any of our coaches or anything like that. They also don’t want us training at a third-party gym or with a third-party trainer, so it’s basically like if you don’t have a gym at home, you can’t train. So fortunately for me, I have a gym at home, so I’ve been able to kind of continue and get work done."
The only players allowed to enter the Trail Blazers practice facility at the moment are the players who are still rehabbing from injuries, including Zach Collins, Jusuf Nurkic and Rodney Hood.
Lillard has thought about the players around the league who aren’t able to continue to train and workout in a home gym.
“People who don’t have that and at some point are going to be expected to come back as a professional athlete and perform on call, that makes it tough,” Lillard added.
“When we do come back, everybody is gonna have a little bit of rust to shake off.”
But, don’t think for a second that Lillard hasn’t been keeping busy when he’s not training in his home gym.
The eight-year vet, has been taking this time to connect with people and share memorable moments with his son, Dame Jr.
“We watching Mickey Mouse together and then we playing, and I’m teaching him stuff. I get to be more hands on with him and it’s constant. I really appreciate it,” Lillard said.
“I appreciate the stillness… Being home all day and I’m not missing anything,” Lillard added.
As the Trail Blazers point guard reflects, while enjoying the time at home with his family, he his optimistic that the season will restart and is in favor of some type of play-in tournament for the playoffs.
And now… We wait for the decision on the season.
But more than anything, Lillard wants “for everybody” to be murmuring this statement once 2019-20 postseason play begins, and the Blazers have made it to the playoffs for the seventh straight year:
“How did they still end up here? Like how? How did that happen?”
Here’s to hoping we all get that chance to hear from those perplexed NBA fans.