The Jazz have been more disrupted than any NBA team during the coronavirus pandemic.
Jazz stars Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell both tested positive, making worldwide news and deepening a rift between them. Bojan Bogdanovic underwent season-ending surgery. Some team employees got laid off. Now, Utah must mourn legendary coach Jerry Sloan in a time of social distancing.
At least Utah will keep Joe Ingles, who apparently at least considered retiring.
Ingles, a key member of the Utah Jazz who sit in fourth place in the Western Conference, has said he is prepared to “walk away, fly to Australia and never play another game in my life and be very content with it” to protect his family from the virus.
His wife, Australian netball great Renae Ingles, is expecting their third child and four-year-old son Jacob has autism and a weakened immune system.
For context, I said this over 2 months ago when we knew nothing about the virus & what it could do. I know the Jazz/NBA would only have us play if they were confident that everyone's health has been put first. When it's safe to go back and play, I will not let my teammates down! https://t.co/zNonZRJHsN
— Joe Ingles (@Joeingles7) May 22, 2020
Ingles almost surely wasn’t alone in contemplating retirement. Coronavirus has shaken the entire world and led to some drastic thoughts.
But Ingles even voicing the consideration is notable. I haven’t seen any other NBA players else do that.
Ingles is due $23,900,001 the next two seasons. That money could help his family, too. NBA careers are short, and the 32-year-old Ingles will likely never earn that type of salary again.
Players generally trust NBA commissioner Adam Silver, who appears to be proceeding toward resuming games. There’s probably a safe way of playing, and I believe Silver is well-intentioned in finding it.
Yet, conditions safe for most players won’t necessarily be safe for everyone. Each person who’d be involved in an NBA game must make an individual decision.
It sounds like Ingles has made his.