MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Brandon Clarke did not expect his rookie season would conclude in Orlando.
"Coronavirus is something that we did not see coming," he said. "The NBA had to do a lot of really tough things to even get us in the bubble, but I'm just really grateful to play."
The Grizzlies will leave for Florida Wednesday as cases spike in the Sunshine State. 25 players across the NBA have tested positive for COVID-19 since testing began June 23, causing some players and coaches to opt out of the bubble campus restart at Walt Disney World Resort. As of Monday, the Grizzlies are all-in.
"With the time off I was actually able to fully heal so opting out was never something I really even thought of," Clarke said. "I was just fine. I was able to finish all of my treatment before all of the facilities were closed down."
"It's a tough situation," Jonas Valanciunas said. "Nobody expected that and nobody knows how to act still 4-5 months into this thing. It is tough to say what's the right way."
With so much unknown, Valanciunas can take comfort in the unchanged world on the hardwood.
"Same game," he said with a wide smile and a laugh. "You've got to take the ball and put it in the basket."