Los Angeles Lakers point guard Dennis Schroder made an impact in his return from a seven-day quarantine, scoring 22 points to help defeat the Portland Trail Blazers and snap a four-game losing streak.
Schroder had missed the previous four games due to the NBA’s health and safety protocols, which coincided with the Lakers hitting a skid. Schroder was ruled out from against the Brooklyn Nets roughly one hour before tipoff, blindsiding L.A. who went on to lose the highly-anticipated matchup.
Following his return, Schroder didn’t pull any punches and criticized the NBA for its implementation of their coronavirus (COVID-19) protocols. “It hurts. First off, I never had COVID,” he said.
“Tested negative the whole time. The situation is what it is, but the NBA, I think has to do better. I mean, I tested negative the whole time. I never had a positive (test). They’ve got to figure that out, for sure. I don’t want to go deep into that.”
Schroder revealed he was inside Staples Center already on the day of the Brooklyn clash before he was officially ruled out. Lakers vice president of basketball operations Rob Pelinka called to say he had entered contact tracing and was likely to miss the game.
“Somebody in my house. But the test came back positive, then we put that back in, negative,” Schroder explained. “Then another one positive. Put it back in, negative. So I don’t know at this point.”
Schroder added he suffered watching games from home being unable to help the struggling team. “Being at home, watching the game, I had my thoughts and shared them with my teammates via text,” he said.
“But I’m happy now to be back and try to give everything I have to get some Ws again. I’m happy and just going to keep going forward.”
LeBron James: Schroder gave Lakers ‘an automatic spark’
The Lakers missed Schroder’s pace and hustle as evidenced by his return — helping L.A. snap their losing streak. LeBron James said the playmaker’s presence boosted the team’s energy levels, which was particularly important considering the slump and absence of Anthony Davis.
“Obviously Dennis gives us an automatic spark,” James said. “His energy alone gives us a spark. His competitive nature gives us a spark. … It was big time in that instance. Everybody just rallied around one another.”
Have you subscribed to our YouTube channel? It’s the best way to watch player interviews, exclusive coverage from events, participate in live shows, and more!