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Nets' Garrett Temple Feels a 'Nervous Anxiousness' About NBA's Orlando Bubble

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistJuly 5, 2020

Brooklyn Nets' Garrett Temple plays during an NBA basketball game against the Philadelphia 76ers, Thursday, Feb. 20, 2020, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
Matt Slocum/Associated Press

Even though Garrett Temple is heading to Orlando for the restarted NBA season, the Brooklyn Nets guard admitted he has a "nervous anxiousness" about playing, according to Malika Andrews of ESPN.

"There is no way to be comfortable when you think about where you're going to be, for the amount of time you're going to be there and the restrictions that you have there," Temple said. "The question of us being comfortable; that will not be the case whatsoever."

The 22 teams competing will travel to Orlando this week with games set to begin on July 30. The squads will be there until at least mid-August, while those competing in the NBA finals will be in the same location until October.

Temple noted he will return to his family to see his child born with his fiancee, Kara McCullough, due in mid-September.

As Tim Bontemps of ESPN noted, leaving to see the birth of a child counts as an excused absence, but it would still require a quarantine of at least four days upon returning. An unexcused absence requires at least 10 days of quarantining.

Players being in "confined spaces for prolonged periods of time" could lead to significant mental health issues in the coming weeks, as William Parham, director of the National Basketball Players Association's mental health and wellness program, explained.

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"There's no way around it, so I would anticipate some increased anxiety, some increased tension, some increased restlessness," Parham added.

Temple, one of the vice presidents of the NBPA, acknowledged several players have questioned heading to Orlando.

"I would imagine more than half of the league, of the players that are going, have had second thoughts," he said.

Meanwhile, the 34-year-old is expected to take on an important role for a Nets squad that will be without DeAndre Jordan and Wilson Chandler while Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant were already out because of injuries. Spencer Dinwiddie is also a question mark after testing positive for COVID-19, per Shams Charania of The Athletic.

Temple was already in the midst of his most productive season in the NBA, 11 years after his debut. He is averaging 10.3 points and 3.5 rebounds in 28.1 minutes per game, all career highs over a full season.

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