Lakers News: JaVale McGee ‘comfortable’ going to Orlando despite asthma

As the NBA gets closer and closer to the resumption of the 2019-20 season at Disney World, recently releasing the schedules of the Lakers and the other 21 teams traveling to Orlando, a common rejection from anyone questioning the safety of the The league’s comeback plan has been that NBA players are young and in peak physical condition, and in all likelihood they will be fine even if they do get the coronavirus.

While such rebuttals ignore the safety of coaches or other league teams and personnel that may not be in such superhuman physical shape, it also does not apply to all NBA players. Lakers center JaVale McGee, for example, has asthma, which the CDC recently added to the list of comorbidities that could belong to its list of risk factors that can lead to more serious complications of the coronavirus.

However, for his part, McGee has made it clear that he is not as concerned about that. A few weeks ago, he was one of the few players to register his reluctance to commit to the restrictions the league would subject them to in Orlando, calling the rules “troubling.”

In a more recent interview with Dan Woike of the Los Angeles Times, he said he is confident that the NBA will not put him or others at risk by resuming the season:

McGee said it was not one of the two Lakers who tested positive (their identities remain unknown) and the incident did not scare him. He said he hasn’t tried to dramatically change his lifestyle during the pandemic because he was a homebody anyway.

He had no qualms about playing in Florida again when the NBA resumes the season with games starting on July 30.

“I’m definitely comfortable,” said McGee. “We’ve been gone for a while and we’ve been COVID-free all this time. I definitely think we’ll be fine as long as we take the necessary precautions. “

We don’t know if McGee or any other Lakers tested positive when the team evaluated the entire roster earlier this week, but we do know that when they did their initial tests right after the season ended, two players on the roster had the coronavirus. In addition to McGee (now) and his sister (at the time) saying that he was not one of them, Quinn Cook was also reported to be negative. Jared Dudley also went to the radio at the time and said he did not test positive either. As Woike pointed out, it is not yet publicly known which players tested positive in March.

McGee is comfortable, despite a possible risk factor, which is the latest indicator that players don’t seem to be incredibly concerned about their safety while in the Orlando bubble. That said, Woike reported that the decision may not be entirely up to McGee:

According to people with knowledge of the situation and the NBA health and safety manual reviewed by The Times, the Lakers’ doctors could “protect” McGee and any other player they consider to be high risk. A week ago, players had to complete a three-page medical questionnaire and team doctors must evaluate them before Thursday.

Questions for players and travel staff included whether the person had or had suffered from moderate or severe asthma.

Still, it’s hard to imagine an NBA team ruling out a player who wants to go to Disney World and play if they say they’re not concerned about their safety. Coronavirus may make the tendency to defer to players in normal times a little different, but it is still difficult to see given that asthma has not yet been conclusively proven to be a risk factor (even if there are clearly enough data to say it could be).

With all of the aforementioned, it’s probably safe to assume that McGee will not be joining Avery Bradley to sit out of the resumed season, although he, and all the other players in the league, still have until July 1 to inform their teams if They ‘re comfortable going to Orlando or not. However, if the players sit down, it is safer to guess that it will be for reasons of social justice, contractual injuries / concerns or reasons related to their family, since at this point those are the reasons why the players who choose to sit outside have given.

Players ruled out by risk factors for their teams can be replaced, while players who lose the tournament with injuries cannot be replaced, but will be paid. However, if the players choose to sit like Bradley did, their teams don’t have to pay them, but they can bring in a replacement to take their place for the rest of the season after the rosters are finalized on July 1.

For more Lakers talk, subscribe to the Silver Screen and Roll podcast at iTunes, Spotify, Stapler or Google Podcasts. You can follow Harrison on Twitter at @hmfaigen.