By Dionysis Aravantinos / @AravantinosDA
Over the past few weeks, the coronavirus pandemic has hit the whole world. Countries are closing their borders while schools, stores and airports are shut down. People all around the world are strongly advised to stay at home in an attempt to fight and eventually eliminate this virus.
As one can imagine, coronavirus has had a huge impact on basketball worldwide. All basketball leagues including the NBA and the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague competition have been suspended, cancelled or postponed and no one knows what the future holds. Some American players are stuck in Europe in a quarantine, not knowing if they’ll be able to return back home in the near future, when and if they’ll play basketball again this season and what will happen with their payments.
Their daily schedule looks way different than their regular one, their feelings are mixed and the situation they’re in isn’t getting any easier (at least for now). Eurohoops had the chance to talk to some players who compete at the highest level in Europe (EuroLeague & EuroCup) and a couple of NBA stars who shared their thoughts and feelings on this unique situation.
How are you dealing with the coronavirus at the moment?
- Marco Belinelli (San Antonio Spurs): The situation is really tragic. This virus has been underestimated in all countries since the first moment and immediate procedure wasn’t taken, thinking that it was similar to the flu. Being Italian, I saw all the progress of the virus and the restrictions that have been taken by my country. In the United States, we have been facing this virus for a week.
- Bogdan Bogdanovic (Sacramento Kings): It’s shocking, it’s unbelievably difficult for everybody but we’re all in this together. We just have to be disciplined as we learn more things about this new virus. It’s a new lesson for us as a community, as a society. We just have to deal with it like everyone else and be aware of the spreading and the power of the virus.
- Shane Larkin (Anadolu Efes):At the moment I’m just staying home much of the day. Obviously self-quarantine rules are in affect so I’m being able to stay away from any potential ways to catch the virus.
- Malcolm Delaney (FC Barcelona Lassa): Honestly, I’m just sitting in the house, me and my chef basically chilling.
- Paul Zipser (Bayern Munich): As the days go by, more people are understanding the significance of this situation and are staying at home. By doing less (staying at home), we’re doing the most in order to get past this.
- Alex Poythress (Galatasaray): It’s hard dealing with this problem alone. Especially since we’re so far from our family back in the States. I haven’t left my apartment in four-five days and I’ve just been watching movies and YouTube all by myself.
- Guerschon Yabusele (ASVEL Villeurbanne): In France, we have more and more cases every day. People don’t really take care and understand the importance of the matter, because they still go outside. It’s impossible for the virus to stop. So, this is our situation. Stay home. We’ve been home for four-five days, so all I’m doing is working out by myself.
- Nigel Hayes (Zalgiris Kaunas): I’m dealing very well with it. As good as one can. Social Distancing, continuing clean habits. Trying to keep busy without getting bored.
- Kyle Hines (CSKA Moscow): I’m just trying to stay at home as much as possible. Socially distancing myself from others. I’m only going out when needed to; when we have practice or when I have to get food.
- Amedeo Della Valle (Olimpia Milan): It’s not easy to deal with this situation. As a person I just try to do whatever the government and our club tell us to do. Staying at home and spending time with my mother.
- Maurice Ndour (Valencia Basket): Just like everybody else is dealing with it. Staying home with my family, only go out when we need to and mostly to the supermarket.We are all just trying to not go crazy during this lockdown.
- Peyton Siva (ALBA Berlin): At the moment, I am currently traveling back to the States with my family. For the past week, I stayed in the house with my family, watching movies, creating little games with my kids to stay active.
- Austin Hollins (Zenit St.Petersburg): At the moment I am taking all the safety precautions from the doctors. Washing my hands and limiting my contact with other people as much as possible outside of necessity.
- Deshaun Thomas (Panathinaikos): I’m dealing with it a day at a time. Staying clean, spending time with my family; the good thing about it. It’s a situation that we’re all in, we just got to keep the faith and hope it gets better.
What’s the current situation in your city?
- Marco Belinelli: In San Antonio until yesterday (18/03) we had about 12 cases, but the numbers are continuously rising. Restaurants, shops, gyms etc. are slowly starting to close.
- Bogdan Bogdanovic: (Sacramento) It’s the same as every other city. All the stores are closed, only grocery shops and hospitals are open. There are even more restrictions, compared to last week. We cannot use the gyms; all the arenas are shut down and we have to be patient and figure it out.
- Shane Larkin: Currently in Istanbul, Turkey we are starting to get more and more cases. A week ago, we had under 10 cases and now the number is up to something around 650. But obviously, that’s just the cases that are reported and the people who are actually getting tested. Istanbul is a huge city with around 16 million people so who knows how many cases we actually have.
- Malcolm Delaney: The situation here in Barcelona, Spain is that everybody is pretty much in quarantine. Most stores are closed, and it’s recommended to stay at home.
- Paul Zipser: The situation here in Munich, Germany is changing every day. The government is pretty strict about everything which is good. We spend 95% of our time at home. I only get out of the house to go for jogging. I drive up to the forest, in order to be completely alone and just jog. At home, I’m constantly on social media and I’m playing some games on PlayStation.
- Alex Poythress: The situation in the city (Istanbul, Turkey) isn’t too bad at the moment. Grocery stores and malls are still open but soon I think they’ll start shutting things down.
- Guerschon Yabusele: We can’t get out of the house. We have to stay home all the time. We can only get out of the house if we have a permit that shows we’re going grocery shopping, back home etc. If you go outside and get caught by the police, you get fined. So, we have to stay home, not get out whatsoever. Most of the people don’t work no more. It’s pretty tough.
- Nigel Hayes: Everything is closed in Kaunas, Lithuania except grocery stores, gas stations, and pharmacies. Only can have food delivered from restaurants, no dine-in.
- Kyle Hines: The situation in Moscow, Russia isn’t necessarily like some of the other cities and countries in Europe. So far, Russia has done a great job at containing the virus, so we don’t have the same amount of cases as a lot of other countries have. We’re not under a mandatory quarantine. As of right now (19/03) me and my family are trying to self-quarantine because we know that the best way to beat this virus is to stay at home as much as possible. Most of the people here are staying low, trying to do their part to help beat this virus. For the most part, Moscow is functioning semi-normal. People are still moving around, doing their day-to-day stuff. Schools are closed, we have some restrictions on a number of other things but for the most part, we haven’t seen as many cases, as some other cities, countries in Europe.
- Amedeo Della Valle: Right now, all of Italy is part of the red zone, which means that you can only go out to buy food and medicines.
- Maurice Ndour: The city here in Valencia, Spain has been on lockdown for almost a week now and I think everybody is respecting the decision that has been made. Some businesses are closed, others like supermarkets, bakeries and pharmacies are open.
- Peyton Siva: In Berlin, Germany everything was shutting down. Practice gym was shut down, movie theaters, etc. They were advising everyone to remain inside and practice social distancing.
- Austin Hollins: Here in St. Petersburg, Russia there isn’t much of a lockdown. The number of cases reported is very low. I think people are definitely being more cautious and are aware of the situation.
- Deshaun Thomas: I’m in Columbus, Ohio right now. I came back home due to the virus, to be with the family, make sure they’re all alright. Health and safety come first, especially at these times where everybody is trying to figure out a cure for it.