Professional basketball has been on hold for over three weeks now due to the outbreak of coronavirus, but that didn’t necessarily mean that players would be unable to play themselves. After all, it only takes a ball and a hoop to play. While that has allowed people around the country to use the game to pass the time in their backyards or garages, one notable NBA star has so far been unable to do so himself. Reigning MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo cannot play basketball during the NBA season’s hiatus. Why? Because he doesn’t have anywhere to shoot.
“So, I don’t have access to hoop,” Antetokounmpo admitted during a conference call, according to ESPN. “A lot of NBA players have a court in their house or something, but now I just get home workouts. Ride the bike, treadmill, lift weights, and pretty much stay sharp that way, but I don’t play basketball.”
“Since the practice facility is closed down, I don’t have any access to a basketball goal unless I go to one of my neighbor’s house to shoot outside,” Middleton said. “It’s really no basketball for me. Basically, like Giannis said, it’s the treadmill, the jump rope, some weights, and that’s it. I have a couple of basketballs I can just dribble in my house or outside but no actual goal to go shoot on.”
While some players are lucky enough to have courts in their homes, the vast majority of the NBA has been forced to focus primarily on conditioning drills within their own homes during this social distancing period. Even those with homes that are physically able to accommodate a hoop haven’t found the process of installing one easy. Stephen Curry admitted to the Wall Street Journal that it took him five hours to install a basket at his house. Those living in apartments likely don’t even have that opportunity.
If the season is to resume at any point, a second training camp would have to be built into the league’s schedule. Not only would it help players find their rhythm on a court again, but they would need it to fully restore their conditioning as well. Players are used to gearing up for the postseason at this point in the year. Instead, they’re confined to their homes just hoping that the season can be restored in some way, shape or form.