The NBA continues to gain momentum towards a potential resumption of the 2019-20 season, but that may not matter for Utah Jazz forward Joe Ingles.
Peter Mitchell of the Australian Associated Press quoted Ingles this week as saying that he is prepared to “walk away, fly to Australia, never play another game in my life, and be very content with it” in order to protect his family. Mitchell notes that Ingles’ wife Renae is pregnant with their third child and his 4-year-old son Jacob has autism and a weakened immune system.
“It’s not worth it,” said Ingles of practicing at the Jazz team facility in a recent appearance on 1280 The Zone in Utah. “I have a gym, I have everything I can do. As for basketball, it’s a bit more difficult, but I think that as we go ahead and find out more information about it, it will be easier to make a decision. But I am in no way willing to risk my children, and Renae, and everything else, to go play basketball.”
Ingles, who was averaging 9.8 points, 4.0 rebounds, and 5.2 assists per game this season, is a very vital piece for the Jazz, the No. 4 seed in the Western Conference at the time that play was suspended. The team was also dealt a major blow this week with the news of second-leading scorer Bojan Bogdanovic undergoing season-ending wrist surgery.
When it comes to the NBA resuming play, one location in particular is gaining steam as a possible bubble site to host league activities. But even that proposal would entail risk, and Ingles illustrates the understandable hesitance that many, especially those with families, may have about picking up the season.