Toronto Raptors star guard Fred VanVleet revealed that his battle with COVID-19 wasn't an easy one and that he faced certain difficulties. VanVleet, who became the highest-paid undrafted player in NBA history this past offseason, returned to practice on Tuesday after being out for two weeks due to virus-related reasons.
"I wouldn't wish it on anybody," VanVleet said, per Associated Press. "But I'm here, I'm alive, I'm breathing and I know there's a lot of people that didn't make it through COVID. So, my thoughts and my heart are with the families and people that've been affected by this thing that weren't as fortunate as I was -- as I am."
Raptors' Pascal Siakam, Malachi Flynn and Patrick McCaw were also out due to virus-related reasons. "It's been a rough stretch for everybody, not just the guys that were locked up," VanVleet said. "The rest of the guys that were trying to put the pieces together, I feel for them."
Raptors head coach Nick Nurse was thrilled to have all the guys back. "Actually almost had a whole roster out there tonight," Nurse said after practice Tuesday. "I was running some 5-on-0 and had to run three teams, believe it or not.
Big jump forward."
VanVleet didn't want to spread the infection
"At that point, it was just a matter of trying to get somewhere and get isolated and get away from my kids and my girl and my family," VanVleet said.
"I hunkered down. I had it. I had symptoms, a few days of symptoms. It was pretty rough, a few of those days." This season, VanVleet has been playing good basketball as he is averaging 20.1 points, 4.4 rebounds and 6.6 assists per game.
A few months ago, VanVleet said he was locked in on individual accolades and helping the Raptors win NBA Championships. "All of the individual accolades that you could ever think of -- though I don't really share those publicly because that's not what I'm into -- but I've got a lot on the table that I want to get done," VanVleet said.
"But now I'm just locked in on that next championship. That feeling of winning a championship, it trumps anything I've ever done in my life, in my career. Besides my kids, that's right up there, as far as personal journeys and accomplishments that you can make. "So trying to chase that next championship, that's what I'm locked in on."