Monday afternoon, Clippers starting center Ivica Zubac confirmed he had coronavirus in early July. Zubac made the announcement when speaking to reporters following the Clippers’ 106-102 loss to the Sacramento Kings in their final pre-season “scrimmage” game.
Zubac was initially among the Clippers who did not travel to Orlando three weeks ago, and while the lack of word led many to suspect he had tested positive for COVID, no reports of his status were made. He finally arrived in Orlando over the weekend after clearing the NBA’s protocol of a 14-day at-home quarantine, 2 negative tests, and clearance by a physician. Then, he completed the mandatory 2-day entry quarantine at Disney World before making his debut this afternoon against the Kings.
Here is what Zu told reporters after the game:
I feel good, man. I know no one has said it, but I had the virus. I tested positive the week before fourth of July. I didn’t have any symptoms. I felt a little tired for two or three days, but other than that I was good. I was getting tested daily, and I was waiting to clear all the protocols to join the team in Orlando, but it was tough because I didn’t have any — I couldn’t get in a gym. I couldn’t stay in shape. I mean, I did some stuff, but it’s hard to replace the practices and these games. I did as much as I could, but I wish I was with the team from the start.Transcription by Clippers PR
Due to potential long-term damage the virus can cause to the lungs and hearts of those who get sick, the NBA has enforced relatively strict guidelines preventing players who test positive from working out. As a result, players who are joining their teams late after recovering from a positive test, such as Zubac and his teammate Landry Shamet, are both behind the curve from a conditioning standpoint and missed a number of practices.
After Ivica Zubac confirmed he had coronavirus, one of the lingering mysteries of the Clippers’ quarantine is answered. For fans, Zu, and the rest of the team, the good news is he’s safe, healthy, and ready to help the Clippers fight for a championship in Orlando.