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Dennis Schroder’s confusing response to COVID-19-related absence

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Los Angeles Lakers point guard Dennis Schröder returned from his second stint in the NBA’s health and safety protocols on Saturday, and he gave a couple of testy and confounding responses when asked about his COVID-19-related absence.

Back in February, the Lakers went 0-4 as Schröder quarantined from his guest house due to contact tracing. Upon his return, he complained about the league’s protocols.

Following the Lakers win over the Indiana Pacers on Saturday, Schröder spoke to the media for the first time since entering protocols on May 2. He missed the Lakers’ past seven games.

Schröder grew increasingly annoyed when asked for clarification about his recent status. The guard implied that he was the only Lakers player who has not received the COVID-19 vaccine, did not test positive, yet expressed relief that he would not miss time going forward.

Here’s an edited portion of the exchange between Schröder and the media:

ESPN’s Dave McMenamim: Earlier this season when you went into quarantine due to contact tracing, you expressed your disappointment and basically I think you vowed to not have that happen again. What was it like for you to have it happen again and see what the team went through while you were out?

Schröder: “I mean, at least I can’t get it no more in the playoffs. That’s probably the best thing. Me and my family was talking about it the whole time, we didn’t know, it was like ‘I’m not sure.’”

The Athletic’s Bill Oram: You did have COVID? You tested positive?

Schröder: “No, I didn’t test positive. I went to separate things to get tested, but I mean, it is what it is, like I said. I’m the only guy who didn’t get vaccinated, so I’m gonna just leave it at that.”

Oram: I’m sorry, maybe this is on my end and I’m just not understanding, but you said you can’t get it…

Schröder: “Next question. Maybe, then. Fuck, what you want me to say? Next question. Simple. God damn.”

Schroder added that everybody in his household “was healthy” and doing well.

Earlier his month, Schröder raised eyebrows when quotes (translated from German) surfaced in which he seemed to reveal that he and LeBron James were only members of the Lakers not to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.

In March, Schröder’s teammate Marc Gasol suffered through a debilitating bout with COVID.

Make of all of that what you will.

On the basketball court, Schröder shook the rust to post 14 points and four assists in 27 minutes, including one very gleeful lob to LeBron James.