Pacers' Myles Turner 'Definitely Wasn't a Big Proponent' of NBA Restart at First

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistJuly 5, 2020

Indiana Pacers center Myles Turner (33) in the first half of an NBA basketball game Sunday, Jan. 19, 2020, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
David Zalubowski/Associated Press

Indiana Pacers center Myles Turner will participate in the NBA's restart in Orlando, but he wasn't sure about it after seeing his father deal with the symptoms of COVID-19.

"I saw it firsthand and how it affected my family and I couldn't imagine how it's affected other families," Turner said Friday, per Mark Montieth of the team's official site. "I definitely wasn't a big proponent of playing at first. I still have questions now, but most of the questions have been answered."

The 24-year-old had previously discussed how coronavirus affected his dad on CJ McCollum's podcast, noting he was in the hospital for about a week, via Dan Feldman of NBC Sports.

"Seeing my dad get it, he was super weak," Turner said. "He could barely talk."

Though his dad recovered, Jacqueline Towns, the mother of Minnesota Timberwolves center Karl-Anthony Towns, died from the virus in April.

"That really impacted my family," Turner said. "He's close to his family and I'm close to mine. If I would have lost my father to this virus, I couldn't guarantee I'd be sitting here talking to you right now."

The NBA is set to return this month despite the ongoing pandemic, although several players have decided to opt out of playing. Among those is Pacers teammate Victor Oladipo, who said he wants to sit out to get healthy for the 2020-21 season, per Shams Charania of The Athletic.

His absence could make Indiana's path to a deep playoff run even tougher, though the team could remain competitive with the fifth-best record in the Eastern Conference heading into Orlando.