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Former NBA forward Anthony Randolph discusses life in Spain due to coronavirus

The Real Madrid veteran is under quarantine after a teammate tested positive

NBA stars are not the only basketball players wondering whether their teams will get a chance to compete for a championship this season. Around the world, other professional ballers are also on hiatus due to the deadly COVID-19, including former NBA forward Anthony Randolph, who currently plays for Spanish club Real Madrid Baloncesto.

“It is a little devastating to know that your season can be postponed for a certain period of time or even canceled,” Randolph told The Undefeated from Madrid last week. “It’s kind of hard to deal with when you put in so much work and we’re positioning ourselves for seeding and the playoffs, getting ready for the real season playing for titles and championships.

“But we understand at this time, the health and safety of all the players and our families is the most important thing.”

The Dallas native, who played six seasons in the NBA, has been with Real Madrid since 2016 and was once a teammate of NBA All-Star Luka Doncic. Randolph has won a EuroLeague championship and two Spanish League championships with Real Madrid, which is currently second in both the Euroleague and the Spanish ACB. But Real Madrid went into quarantine for 15 days starting March 12 after one of its players, former LA Clippers forward Trey Thompkins, tested positive for the coronavirus. EuroLeague and Spanish ACB play have since been postponed.

Real Madrid played against AX Armani Exchange Milan in Milan on March 3. Six days later, Italy was put under quarantine due to the coronavirus.

Randolph, who has averaged 10.7 points and 3.7 rebounds for Real Madrid this season, has been sidelined due to a thumb injury and missed the game in Italy. He declined to comment on Thompkins potentially getting the coronavirus in Italy or his current status, but did say he himself currently has no symptoms of COVID-19.

“Most of my teammates and the trainers were all worried about going to Milan to play the game,” Randolph, 30, said. “But you know us as athletes, we kind of shrugged it off as like, ‘We will be all right. They will protect us.’ There were procedures and things put in place to protect us. We just figured [EuroLeague] would protect us. And when the guys came back, everybody did what they were supposed to do.

Anthony Randolph (center) of Real Madrid in action during the 2019-20 Turkish Airlines EuroLeague regular season Round 22 match against Maccabi FOX Tel Aviv at Menora Mivtachim Arena on Jan. 30 in Tel Aviv, Israel.

Seffi Magriso/Euroleague Basketball via Getty Images

“They had gloves, masks and hand sanitizer on the trip there. It was just unfortunate that we got back after we played a couple of games that we realized that one of our players had come down with the virus.”

Spain is currently under partial lockdown in hopes of slowing down the worst coronavirus outbreak in Europe behind Italy. Randolph is self-quarantined at his condominium in Madrid with his wife, Marisela, and their young daughter and son. He said he has been keeping close tabs on his parents in Dallas and other loved ones in the United States and has no plans to head back to Dallas soon.

Randolph says he is also comfortable staying put because he believes Real Madrid’s medical staff provides its players with “amazing medical care.”

“If I do get it, I will be taken care of,” Randolph said. “It won’t be a major problem.”

Randolph said he and his wife planned ahead by purchasing food, water and other household items that can potentially last the family for weeks. When feeling claustrophobic, the Randolphs have a balcony that allows the family to get fresh air.

To stay in shape, Randolph has a PlayStation 4.

“The best way for me to stay in shape is playing Dance 2020 on my PS4 with my daughter,” Randolph said. “That is about the best way to stay in shape. We are pretty much quarantined in our home. About the only time we are allowed to go out is to restock on food, get gas or go to the hospital.”

Randolph said he keeps in touch with his Real Madrid teammates on a text chain and still hopes they will be able to resume play to chase their title dreams. But he is more focused on Spain and the world getting healthy first.

“I don’t think anybody knows how this situation will play out,” Randolph said. “Me as a basketball player, I want play to resume because Real Madrid and other teams have been working since August, September in order to compete, have a chance to win a title and to compete against all the players over here. For it to end like this, it cheapens everything. But at the same time, the health of the players and the families that are involved are the most important thing.”

Marc J. Spears is the senior NBA writer for Andscape. He used to be able to dunk on you, but he hasn’t been able to in years and his knees still hurt.