The past few days have been rough for the Dallas Mavericks. COVID-19 is wreaking havoc on the organization. This isn’t the first time the virus dealt a blow to the team, though. Before the Mavericks entered the bubble at the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida for the restart of the 2019-20 season, they were without a key member of the team.
Trey Burke, whom Dallas added prior to the bubble, wasn’t with the team. He would join them days after the team arrived. Only after the end of the season did Burke admit that he contracted the virus prior to arriving in Florida. Having previously had COVID-19, Burke has some insights into what it’s like and some advice for his teammates that are currently afflicted or under quarantine.
“Yes, I have been talking to all three via text. I definitely can relate,” Burke said Saturday night. “As you all know, I was in the Virgin hotel down the street before the bubble for 25 to 30 days by myself quarantining because I kept getting inconclusive results. It would come back negative and then it would be positive. It is a real experience.”
The three players he’s referring to are Jalen Brunson, Dorian Finney-Smith, and Josh Richardson. One of the three tested positive for COVID-19 and the other two are under NBA Health and Safety Protocols. All three are quarantining in Denver.
Since Burke spoke, matters have only deteriorated for the Mavericks. At least four players are undergoing health and safety protocols. Maxi Kleber is the most recent one added to that list as of Sunday. It is unknown whether he tested positive or not. That day, the Mavericks also shuttered their practice facility because of the spread of COVID-19.
Monday dealt yet another blow to the team. The NBA postponed Dallas’ game against the New Orleans Pelicans that was scheduled for that evening because the Mavericks did not eight players available to play. According to multiple reports, the team saw another player test positive Monday morning and because of contact tracing could not meet the league’s minimum roster requirement.
If that’s the case, then that would mean at least five additional players entered health and safety protocols. That would put the team’s next few games in jeopardy.
With so many players entering quarantine, Burke’s words carry a great deal of weight. He knows what they are going through and he understands that it’s a difficult situation. But he says that it’s also an opportunity. In order to come back prepared, Burk worked on his mental focus. He suggests that his teammates do the same.
“It is a lot of isolation time, a lot of time you get to yourself,” Burke said. “That can go one of two ways. That is going to be my encouragement to J. Rich (Richardson), JB (Brunson), and Doe-Doe (Finney-Smith). I know it is a tough time and it is unfortunate, but try to use this isolation time to do some meditation, some visualization, and try to work on yourself. That will help them come back prepared. I think that is how I came into the bubble prepared because I tried to use that time as wisely as possible.”
Hopefully, for the sake of the organization, there won’t be many—or any—more players contracting COVID-19 or entering quarantine and having to heed Burke’s advice after Monday.