The NBA’s sudden halt came at the wrong time for an in-form Aron Baynes, who admits it’s hard to see how the season will resume this year.
The Phoenix Suns centre hit nine three-pointers in a 37-point performance – the most by an Australian in the NBA – that came just days before the coronavirus pandemic swept across the United States in early March.
The Queenslander has been enjoying some extended family time in his Phoenix home ever since.
But with the COVID-19 death toll nearing 60,000 in the United States, the Boomers star conceded a quick resumption of professional sport looked unlikely.
“I don’t see an end to the hiatus as it stands,” he told Australian radio station SEN.
“Everyone’s itching to get back and play and finish the season, but there’s bigger things right now than basketball and people’s safety is foremost.
“You’ve got to take a step back, see the world for what it is right now, what’s important, and us running around out there isn’t what is right now.
“Honestly, I’m not sure this season will continue but hopefully there’s some progress towards where we can begin next season.”
The NBA are facilitating a possible return to individual training sessions in coming days, with players forced to follow strict health guidelines in an initiative Baynes says doesn’t translate to an immediate competitive return.
“It’s all just to give guys a safer outlet than going down to a commercial gym, where the chance of contracting COVID is a lot higher,” he said.
Originally known as a defensive specialist with good touch around the basket, Baynes has expanded his game to include a reliable three-point shot.
Now 33, the championship winner with San Antonio is nearing 500 NBA games ahead of the Boomers’ delayed push for a maiden international medal at the postponed 2021 Olympics.
“I was in a good rotation, getting a good rhythm back (before the NBA’s pause) and hopefully can maintain some of that if and when basketball does come back,” he said.
“I’m just showing that you can get better with age right? That’s what I’m trying to do.
“And we’re (the Boomers) are getting better with age I think, it’ll be more fun for us.”