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.

Lucas Hann

Lucas Hann

Lucas has covered the Clippers since 2011, and has been credentialed by the team since 2014. He co-founded 213Hoops with Robert Flom in January 2020.  He is a graduate of Saugus High School in Santa Clarita, CA and St. John's University in Queens, NY.  He earned his MA in Communication and Rhetorical Studies from Syracuse University.

9 Comments

  • lying dog-faced pony soldier lying dog-faced pony soldier says:

    Glad to hear Zu is okay. I think the NBA has a decent chance to finish its bubble playoffs barring outbreaks caused by knuckleheads like Lou Will. Baseball suddenly looks like it’s up the creek and football in a pandemic is clearly a bad joke.

    • Avatar chogokin says:

      I actually have no idea what baseball’s overall protocols are for COVID. I know they’re still travelling to other cities, which seems like a horrible idea at this point – do they have any kind of rules/regulations regarding players/staff exposure in said visiting cities? Or is it just straight up “let’s do what we normally do but w/o fans and w/ lots of tests”?

      Also yea, Zu having COVID would also help explain how rusty he’s looked so far in scrimmage – I think it’ll take him at least another 3-4 games before he’s back to mostly-in-game shape. Fortunately Noah’s looked better than expected so far, and while Zu rounds into form I’m looking forward to seeing how Noah fares in some games that actually matter.

      • Avatar TheGreatestShowman says:

        Far as I can tell it’s just business as usual with no fans. Likely counting on regular testing to save them but baseball and football are screwed. NBA and NHL will hopefully show the way. Good riddance, I say.

        • Lucas Hann Lucas Hann says:

          I was wondering with my brother-in-law today if baseball will do poorly enough to make the NFL scrape together a last-minute bubble plan. Maybe 4 10-game bubbles in the N, S, E, W where each team plays their divisional opponents twice and their opposite league division once. With a 17-week season slated to start September 10th, it seems feasible that with the 6 weeks between now and then + the 6 or 7 weeks they’d save in scheduling, they could pull something workable together.

          • Avatar TheGreatestShowman says:

            Does your bubble mean no travel like the NBA? That’s the only way it could work. Seems to me the NFL renting out a major regional college campus makes sense. I’d actually tune in to see the West pod for instance play live/work/play at USC for 3 months. Same for at Notre Dame, UT Austin, etc…

          • Lucas Hann Lucas Hann says:

            yup, nba-style bubble

  • davidanagy davidanagy says:

    Seems like we’ll probably be seeing a lot of Noah as Zubac gets his conditioning up.

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