While we all might be dying a slow death without any professional sports for the foreseeable future, at least Jazz star Donovan Mitchell, who contracted the coronavirus from teammate Rudy Gobert, is recovering just fine.
During a video interview with Good Morning America on Monday, the 23-year-old detailed his personal experience thus far and assured fans that “things are going well.”
“I have no symptoms, which is unique—when people ask me I would say if you were to tell me I could play in a seven-game series tomorrow, I would be ready to lace up,” Mitchell said. “I’m just blessed to be able to be OK.”
He also revealed that “the scariest part” about the coronavirus is the fact that an infected person can show no symptoms and still spread it unknowingly to others.
“I’m asymptomatic—I could walk down the street if it wasn’t public knowledge that I was sick, you wouldn’t know it,” Mitchell said. “I think that’s the scariest part about this virus, is that you may seem fine, be fine and you never know who you may be talking to who they’re going home to.”
As one of only three NBA players to have tested positive for the coronavirus—teammate Rudy Gobert and Pistons forward Christian Wood being the others—Mitchell revealed what the testing process entailed.
“It was a swab down my throat,” he explained. “It was about 15 seconds of probably the most discomfort I ever had. I ended up crying. Tears came out of my eyes [...] It was definitely unique, but I’m glad I was able to get it.”
Mitchell also substantiated reports that there was tension within the Jazz organization after Gobert was accused of recklessly endangering his teammates prior to being diagnosed. Gobert apologized for his “careless” behavior on Thursday in a heartfelt Instagram post.
“It took awhile for me to kind of cool off and I read what [Gobert] said [on Instagram] and I heard what he said, so I’m glad he’s doing OK,” Mitchell said. “At the end of the day neither him [nor] I have children at home. I know I have teammates that have children, staff that have children at home, so I’m glad that we were able to kind of contain it as much as possible.”
So how is the first-time NBA All-Star spending his time in isolation? If you guessed he’s been binging on Netflix and video games like the rest of us, you’d be correct. He’s also spending his free time studying game film.
“I’ve been doing a lot of that—It’s kind of bringing back good memories, but you miss the game, miss playing in front of some of the best fans in the world in the NBA,” he said.
In a best-case scenario, the NBA season could resume as early as mid-June, according to CBS Sports, but that’s still being painfully optimistic considering the amount of accommodations that would have to be made in regards to manpower and scheduling.
“Even if we’re out for a month, if we’re out for six weeks, we can still restart the season,” NBA commissioner Adam Silver said. “It might mean the Finals take place in July or late July. Just my feeling was it was way premature to suggest we had lost the season.”
Let us hope and pray the NBA returns soon, but in the interim, you can watch Mitchell’s Good Morning America interview in its entirety below.