The stage was set. All that was left for Dennis Schröder was to get out of the car.
This was Feb. 18, the night of a megawatt matchup with the Brooklyn Nets that, despite the notable absences of All-Stars Kevin Durant and Anthony Davis, still promised to showcase two contenders at Staples Center. In another part of the building, Lakers coach Frank Vogel was telling the media how much he was looking forward to seeing how Schröder would fare against All-Star guard Kyrie Irving.
But Schröder was in his car on the phone with General Manager Rob Pelinka, who told him that someone living in his house had tested positive for coronavirus.
After a week of quarantine in his guest house under health and safety protocols, Schröder returned to the lineup for Friday’s victory over the Portland Trail Blazers but he is still understandably miffed.
“That’s one of the top teams in the NBA … to not play against them,” he said Friday night. “It hurt.”
The frustration for the 27-year-old point guard – who so far is the only starter the Lakers have lost for extended time for COVID-19 protocols – mounted given that he never tested positive for coronavirus during his quarantine period when he had to pass seven consecutive days of tests. He also indicated that the person in his house who was exposed did test positive twice, but both might have actually been inconclusive.