Immunodeficient Nance concerned about COVID-19 risk


Larry Nance Jr. wants to play basketball. If only an accurate measure of his personal risk could help guide his decision as to when it will be safe to return during the coronavirus pandemic.

Nance, who has Crohn’s disease and requires a treatment that significantly weakens his immune system, told ESPN on Monday that he’s working out in individual sessions at the team facility. When workouts shift to team work and potentially games that count, Nance said he’s hopeful the NBA is understanding of his condition.

“I would hope there would be an understanding [from the league] if someone didn’t feel comfortable coming back that’d you get a pass,” Nance said. “Just because you may look like the picture of health, some people have issues you can’t see.

“We’re young, and you know the kind of shape players are in, you’d like to think [the virus] wouldn’t be what it could be for others. But you don’t know. I’m still scared and don’t want to get it.”

At 19-46 when the NBA stopped games in March, the Cavaliers are well out of the playoff picture and in 15th place in the Eastern Conference. If the regular season resumes, the Cavs have just 17 games remaining. The longer the hiatus lingers, the less likely the NBA seems to be to include regular-season games in a return-to-play plan.

Nance requires occasional IV infusions of a drug that is proving helpful in fighting the coronavirus, ESPN reported.

“I’m paying super close attention to everything that is going on,” he said. “I was watching the German soccer league over the weekend and seeing how the players were interacting with each other and still seeing them make a lot of contact. I can’t even imagine being on one of those calls trying to hash this out. There’s so many ways to spread this.”

—Field Level Media