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Joe Harris: ‘I was going to be out a month’ if season had resumed

Brooklyn Nets v Los Angeles Lakers Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images

In an interview with his alma mater’s in-house publication, Joe Harris said he had severely sprained his ankle in the Nets final game before the NBA suspended play and would have been out a month or so anyway.

Harris scored 12 points in the Nets’ 104-102 victory over the Lakers on March 10, but he know the sprain was bad which the diagnosis confirmed.

“So I was going to be out a month, no matter what, and then [the NBA shutdown] went down literally the next day,” Harris told Jeff White of UVA Today. “I wasn’t even with the team. I flew back to New York with one of our trainers, and we were supposed to play at Golden State [on March 12]. The rest of the team was in San Francisco, and they just had to pack up their stuff and leave from there.”

His ankle has healed, Harris said. He also gave some insight in players’ limited use of training facilities. Only players who need rehab services can enter the facility.

“The only loophole that I have right now is that the NBA allowed guys that were in the midst of rehab go into the facility and work with the trainer, so I’ve been able to do that for the last few weeks,” Harris said. “But when I go in, I have to wear a mask and gloves the entire time, and only you and the trainer are allowed in there.”

The practice court is off-limits, and no basketballs are involved in these sessions.

“Everything’s shut down,” Harris said. “I just do rehab, and I do it with one trainer, and it’s just the two of us in the entire facility, so it’s a little strange, because when you go in there, it’s usually hustling and bustling, with a lot going on and good energy, and now there’s just two of you in there.”

Harris noted that the streets of Brooklyn are so empty he’s been able to dramatically cut driving time from his apartment.

“I go into our practice facility every day for rehab. It used to take me anywhere from 20, 30, sometimes 40 minutes, if traffic was bad or there was an accident or something like that. It takes me like 10 minutes now.”

Like many of his teammates, Harris was quick to give the Nets organization high praise for what they’ve done for the players from the get-go.

“The Nets have been really good about everything, especially early on,” Harris told White. “They brought equipment by our apartments, so we all have free weights and bikes, and even now they bring our meals by for us. So we’re pretty fortunate that way.”

Not everyone has stayed nearby. The reason is simple, Harris said, “because the setup in New York is tough. It’s hard to have a lot of space here. You can’t really get outside a ton. So [the Nets] encouraged guys to leave and go to wherever they might have a home in the offseason.”

Harris also revealed that he’s using the quarantine to study online ... at Yale.

Harris is taking an online course offered by the university. Titled “The Science of Well-Being,” it is a “series of challenges designed to increase your own happiness and build more productive habits.”

“I’ve really enjoyed it,” Harris told White.

As for free agency —Harris is an unrestricted free agent— he said he hasn’t “really thought about it a ton. It’s one of those things where I’ll just sort of cross that bridge when I get to it. Right now all the focus is on prioritizing your health and well-being. I’m really more worried about that versus anything basketball-related, to be honest.”