Following an early-December COVID-19 diagnosis, Trail Blazers forward Nassir Little has yet to appear in a regular season game. In a conversation with The Athletic’s Jason Quick, Little detailed his battle with the virus.
Shortly after reporting to training camp, Little learned that he was among the Blazers’ personnel that tested positive for COVID-19. That positive test result was followed by an intense set of symptoms. In his discussion with Quick, Little described the process that eventually led to him losing 20 pounds in less than a month.
“For me, I was on the worst part of the spectrum, the hard end of the disease,” Little said. “I didn’t have to go to the hospital or be on a ventilator, but I went through it bad. It hit me really bad. For about seven to 10 days, I was just really miserable.”
“I would have moments when I was in a hoodie, a hat, sweatpants, socks and a blanket, and I would be shivering like I was in 20-degree weather,” Little said.
In regards to how he contracted the virus, Little was unable to pinpoint when he was exposed. At Thanksgiving, Little’s family visited, but only two of the four visiting family members ended up testing positive for COVID-19.
“I tried to calculate where I caught it, and it’s impossible to really calculate,” Little said. “We had some staff members test positive, so I could have got it at the gym, and I could have given it to my dad and sister, or they could have had it and gave it to me when they came for Thanksgiving. Or, I could have touched something and rubbed my eyes … it’s impossible to know.”
Little, who suffered dehydration issues that were preceded by a concussion in the NBA’s Orlando-based bubble, explained that he taking a cautious approach to his return to the floor.
“I don’t want to put a date on it, because I learned the last time I rushed myself,” Little said. “I’m just going to go with it. I definitely don’t want to just sit in this space of being in limbo, so I know I’m going to have to push through some discomfort at some point and take that jump. But for the most part, I’m just dealing with it, and doing what I have to do that day.”
After his selection at No. 25 in the 2019 NBA Draft, Little appeared in 48 regular season games for the Blazers last season. In those outings, he averaged 3.6 points and 2.3 rebounds per game.
You can read the full feature from Quick at The Athletic (subscription required).