Heat's Andre Iguodala on NBA Campus: 'We've Played in Worse Conditions'

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistJuly 13, 2020

Miami Heat guard Andre Iguodala (28) dribbles the ball during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Washington Wizards, Sunday, March 8, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)
Nick Wass/Associated Press

The NBA restart at the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida, is a unique environment, with 22 teams all gathered in one central location and quarantined away from the general public amid the COVID-19 pandemic. 

But for the Miami Heat's Andre Iguodala, it simply isn't that big of a deal. 

"Everyone's talking about 'How do you adjust to your environment?' and 'This is a different type of environment for these guys.' It's not really a different type of environment coming from the environments that the majority of the league comes from, low- to middle-class income families," he told ESPN. "We've played in worse conditions."

It is an unprecedented situation, however, having 22 teams stay in hotels for the next few months, away from their families, undergoing rigorous testing protocols and playing games without fans in the stands. But for some players, the unique setup is triggering some nostalgia.

Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell compared it to an AAU experience.

"Honestly, to me, it's like AAU really—except for the quarantine part," he said. "But, it's been like AAU. I've just been relaxing, studying film and just making sure I can try to eat as well as I possibly can as far as nutrition because there's temptation to have snacks for sure."

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For Evan Fournier of the Orlando Magic, it is reminiscent of playing back in high school.

"It kind of feels like when I was back in high school where you have everything together," he said. "So you have where we stay at, our rooms, then we have the lunch area, dinner and the practice facility is like right there. Everything is close. There's a little bit of that Olympic Village kind of a feeling, so I'd say that's what it feels like."

Documenting the experience online has already become one way to pass the time. Philadelphia 76ers rookie Matisse Thybulle, for instance, started a YouTube channel:

And both JJ Redick and Meyers Leonard have shotgunned beers as part of an online challenge:

So players will find a way to pass the time in the unorthodox situation. And soon enough, basketball will be played once again as the league attempts to conclude the 2019-20 season under the most unprecedented of circumstances.