Jazz's Joe Ingles Says He'd Walk Away from NBA to Protect His Son from COVID-19

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistMarch 25, 2020

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - AUGUST 24: Joe Ingles of the Boomers and son Jacob are seen during game two of the International Basketball series between the Australian Boomers and United States of America at Marvel Stadium on August 24, 2019 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Daniel Pockett/Getty Images)
Daniel Pockett/Getty Images

Utah Jazz forward Joe Ingles would retire from the NBA if it meant protecting his son from the coronavirus.

As he explained on the Tampering podcast, his son Jacob, who is autistic, is more at risk to COVID-19 because of his weakened immune system. Ingles said he would keep him safe from the disease, even if it meant walking away from basketball, via Sam Amick of The Athletic:

"If you had to tell me that you could never play again to protect Jacob from this, I would walk away, fly to Australia and never play another game in my life and be very content with it. I could walk out of this gym now, in the clothes I'm in, and go to the airport. I would have zero issues (with that choice) because I wouldn't want to put my family through that. I don't want to put Jacob through that. I don't want to put his sister (Milla) through that, and I definitely don't want to put his mother through that. So it's really hard."

Ingles tested negative for COVID-19, while teammates Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell both tested positive for the disease.

Gobert has since said that he has lost his sense of smell.

The NBA suspended its season after Gobert's positive test on March 11, and Ingles has been quarantined at home in Salt Lake City for the past two weeks with his wife Renae and their children.

Although he acknowledges many players are "itching" to return to the court, the 32-year-old might be forced to stay away.

"I would love to go back and play," Ingles said. "There's a million reasons why I want to play. But the one reason—I love Jacob—to not play is the one that I would stick by."

Commissioner Adam Silver hasn't laid out a plan for the league to return but said he is considering "all options" to resume the season when it's safe.

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