WASHINGTON (AFP) – Utah Jazz swingman Joe Ingles, an Australian in his sixth NBA season, said on Friday he doubts more with each passing week the halted 2019-20 campaign will ever resume.
In a conference call with Utah media detailed by the Salt Lake Tribune, the 32-year-old playmaker from Adelaide said it would be difficult to leave wife Renae and three-year-old twins Milla and Jacob for a seclusion plan to finish the campaign.
Ingles was in Oklahoma City last month when French teammate Rudy Gobert tested positive for the coronavirus, prompting the NBA to put the season on hiatus.
“I assumed we would be in this two-week quarantine and then we’ll be back,” Ingles said.
“That was very early on and I probably didn’t know as much as we all do now with the whole thing that’s going on.
“But honestly, my personal opinion is every week that we go along, it feels like it’s a less and less chance that we’re going to (return).”
Sequestering players in one spot to play out a two-month post-season isn’t appealing to Ingles either.
“It would be extremely hard,” Ingles said. “That would be basically the longest I’ve been away from the kids – which I don’t know how much I’m willing to do that, as much as I love playing basketball.”
Two days after his wife, a retired pro netball player, gave birth to the twins, Ingles left with the Aussie squad for the 2016 Rio Olympics.
“Back then, as hard as it was, it was easier,” he said. “Now that they’ve got personalities, they know when I’m leaving, they tell me they miss me, stuff like that. That makes it a lot harder to leave.
“Even just leaving to go to the supermarket, it’s like they cry and they don’t want you to leave and stuff, so two or three months without them would be borderline impossible for me.”
Nevertheless, Ingles is keeping himself ready, having bought a hoop this month for his house, which also has a gym.
Ingles said his father in Australia has been fired while his mother “works in a nursing home so she’s still working. That’s considered essential at the moment.”
Ingles has been a champion around the world, first in 2009 with the South Dragons in Australia’s National Basketball League and then in 2011 and 2012 with Barcelona in the Spanish League. In 2014, he helped Maccabi Tel Aviv win the EuroLeague crown before joining the Jazz later that year.
In 64 games this season, Ingles is averaging 9.8 points, four rebounds and a team-high 5.2 assists a game for the Jazz, who were 41-23 and fourth in the Western Conference when the NBA season was shut down.