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How the coronavirus pandemic changes players’ lives

the6man Jun 23

After waking up, the Italian coronavirus news headline jumped again, Marco Belinelli picked up the phone and called Danilo Gallinari and Nicolo Melli.

Desperate to see his family in Italy, but unable to leave home, let alone this country, Bellinelli began to seek solace among his NBA compatriots.

There was a special comfort in the conversation with Gallinari and Meli, who were also helpless when they followed Italy’s rapidly deteriorating situation outside half a world.

Italy has more than 235,000 confirmed cases and more than 34,000 deaths. Although the country accounts for only 0.8% of the world’s population, it ranks fourth in the world.

Although the epidemic has swept everyone, it is especially sad for Italians like Bellinelli.

The Spurs defender knew he was one of the lucky ones, and his friends and family escaped the storm.

But he was still heartbroken for every life he lost.

“It’s difficult to get stuck in San Antonio,” Bellinelli told “Forever Basketball.” “It’s really hard to know that Covid is taking more and more lives every day. I just feel hopeless.

“This is really a tragedy. Every morning, my fiance and I wake up and immediately check the Italian news… Obviously, our health system is not ready to handle all of this. All the news is like a horror story.”

For Bellinelli, even in the darkest period, maintaining optimism is the only way forward.

He said: “I have never been so proud of being an Italian because I saw a country that struggled in unity and was not discouraged.”

“By participating in a social movement, disseminating the correct information through my social network, and supporting the hospital in my city of Bologna, I was able to maintain close contact with my country.”

Bellinelli has gone to great lengths to struggle from the city of San Antonio, trying to distract herself through simple entertainment: staying with fiancé Martina and French bulldog Lemon to relive childhood His love for building exquisite Lego bricks and studying the equipment stored by the Spurs ended immediately after his house was suspended.

But he was still hard to believe. It was only recently that he had not played basketball or set foot on the court for more than two months.

Bellinelli said: “I don’t think I ever had that kind of experience.” “In the summer, I usually play with the national team.

“It’s difficult. On the contrary, I have watched a lot of basketball games on TV and YouTube. They are all old games. I really miss it. This is a very strange feeling.”


When Marco Belinelli was locked in the United States when the pandemic broke out, many foreign American players feared they would be blocked.

NBA senior agent Joel Bell said that the situation is particularly worrying for more than forty American players trading in China.

Bell told “Forever Basketball”: “I had some players in China at that time, and their team wanted them to stay.”

“We are very worried about what will happen if they are forced to stay, and whether the US government will allow Chinese people to enter. We are preparing for those trapped in China to know the prospect of how long they will stay.”

In order to minimize the problems that may occur when returning home, some players fly back to the United States through unusual and indirect routes.

Bell said: “With my two clients, Taiwang Lawson and Dante Cunningham, we drove them out through other countries.” “I don’t want to say that they are cloaks and daggers, we are not James here. Bond, but you are very worried about travel issues and health issues.

“In some cases, some of us lived in Fiji for a few weeks. The virus does not exist, and traveling from Fiji to the United States is much more flexible than from China to the United States.”

What makes the contract holder unsure is that this has put pressure on many players, some of which may allow the team to get out of trouble in a pandemic situation.

Even if this is not the case, some teams claim that due to the imminent economic impact of the pandemic, they cannot afford to continue to pay players.

Bell said: “I don’t want to call any specific team or country.” “But I only have one player, a well-known player, and his team is in a country that is notorious for contract issues.”

“They said, ‘we don’t pay him, but if you want, we can give you a debit note for October.’ The performance of most other teams is good, but with these people, they have not even tried to fulfill the contract… they are using the pandemic to get rid of their previous obligations. “

Another potential problem is that if the player’s contract has ever appeared in court, the ruling may be passed down.

Bell said: “Sometimes the court can rule that this is the act of God and will replace the actual content of the contract.” “That didn’t happen because nothing happened in court.

“But what you need to worry about is that if you really want to appear in court, you may be ruled to act in God. In this case, the player is likely to lose the lawsuit, so you must take it into consideration. You are taking it.”


The corona virus pandemic not only stalled basketball leagues around the world, but also had a profound impact on the way key decision-makers in the team thought about the future.

The spread effect of the virus is far beyond the scope of games played in an empty arena.

Adelaide 36ers general manager Jeff Van Groningen (Jeff Van Groningen) is the award-winning general manager, he had brought Andrew Bogut (Andrew Bogut) to the Sydney Kings in 2018, he said, in the virus After the outbreak, he has completely reshaped his recruitment process.

Van Groningen said: “During this time, the lesson I learned is the real value of recruiting certain types of talent.” “Human value, personality advantages, and the adaptability that you start looking for because of your time period You know, ask’Is this the type of person you want in uncertain times?’

“You have some uncertain dates now. You don’t know when to start the preseason, and you don’t have a complete start time indicator. Then, you start to truly value those who understand and can do it.”

Van Groningen believes that since many participants have lived in this controlled and isolated environment for a long time, a severe global disaster like a pandemic is likely to really shake some of them.

“If you live in a city, some people may be unprepared. [professional athlete] Bubbles,” he said. “If you used to be a basketball player or coach who was completely focused on that part of life, then maybe you may not know anything about your surroundings and the broader situation. “

“In our industry, just by focusing on this, some athletes and coaches can be like that… Then, there are some you just know, ‘Yes, they really took this step’.”

When the game finally resumes, another area of ​​concern will be the player’s condition and skill level.

The 1999 NBA suspension highlighted the danger of a long pause. Many players rusted and deformed and returned to the court.

According to Van Groningen, next season will reveal a lot of information about which players are habitually working, regardless of how the dilemma surrounding them develops and which players do not.

Van Groningen said: “Those who are self-motivated can work well in their own motivation and in their own space. I think this time will be the most effective use of this time.”

“Some people may be accustomed to participating in group competitions and draw motivation from external motivation, being pushed to become part of the team. Those guys have already undergone some major adjustments.

“But I think those who only focus on their own technology and their progress, now they will think about’I’m going to shock several people’ in the gym. At the same time, I think there are other people saying’when can I work with the team Training together? I don’t know what to do’.

“No one sees this (coronavirus) coming, and like any huge challenge, some people give up and face it first. For others, this is definitely an adjustment.”

For more information about permanent basketball, please follow @bballforeverfb with @nickjungfer.

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This post is written by Nick Jungfer


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