JaVale McGee is ‘comfortable’ playing with the Los Angeles Lakers in the 2019-20 NBA season restart despite having asthma during the coronavirus (COVID-19).
According to Tania Ganguli of Los Angeles Times, McGee is confident in his ability to stay healthy while in Orlando, FL despite the growing number of cases now.
“I’m definitely comfortable,” McGee said about the season restart on July 31. “We’ve been away for a while now and we’ve been COVID-free for this long. I definitely think we’ll be OK as long as we take the necessary precautions.”
With McGee suffering from asthma, he is at a much higher risk of becoming very sick due to COVID-19 compared to other players but is still comfortable.
During the 2018-19 season, McGee missed seven games after being diagnosed with pneumonia and was admitted to the hospital with a 104-degree fever.
McGee was eventually able to return to his normal form, but COVID-19 is a much more severe disease and the Lakers will have to be extra careful with him.
Serving as one half of the team’s two-headed center rotation alongside Dwight Howard, McGee has managed to put up another solid season in Year 2.
McGee is averaging 6.8 points (64.0 percent from the field), 5.8 rebounds, and 1.5 blocks in just 16.8 minutes while playing a key role in the Lakers giving up 46 points in the paint to their opponents, which is the eighth-best in the league.
If Howard ultimately opts out of traveling with the Lakers to Orlando, FL, McGee might be asked to take on a larger workload as the team’s primary center.
While McGee has been able to do that for stretches of certain games, it would be a major adjustment for him after playing most games as more of a situational player.
With McGee’s status for Disney World seemingly locked in, he and the Lakers doctors must make it a priority to keep him safe and healthy within the bubble.
If McGee, Howard, and Anthony Davis all play in the season restart, their size will significantly improve their chances of winning the 2020 NBA Finals in October.