Some NBA players feel COVID effects long-term
“The scary part is we don’t know why that is yet.”
BY TOM HABERSTROH
Jayson Tatum guzzles a drink and stares into the Zoom. It’s 11 p.m. on a Tuesday night. The 23-year-old Celtics star has just scored 29 points in a hard-fought loss to the Jazz. In minutes, there will be a bus to an airport and a flight to Cleveland for another stop in Boston’s run of five games in seven nights.
There’s never a chance to catch a breath in this COVID-condensed season. Tatum admits that there are some games that are “better than others, conditioning-wise, just with my breathing.”
Tatum battled COVID-19 in January when many Celtics were infected. After 16 days in the NBA’s COVID-19 protocols, Tatum returned and started racking up big point totals. But a month after getting sick, Tatum told reporters that at times he had trouble catching his breath and fatigued quicker than normal. Tatum’s play has been excellent for most players, but perhaps a half-step behind the trajectory he was on before COVID. In December, Vegas odds gave Tatum a seven percent chanc…