"Great. He's great. Great spirits. Playing as usual," Stevens said Friday morning in a conference call with the local media. "We had a zoom with the team, he told the team that we were going to give them their own space to go out and have fun – and he told us to go out.
"So he's great."
Stevens and the Celtics were in Milwaukee on Wednesday, March 11, getting ready to play the Bucks the following night – in front of no fans – when the NBA suspended its season after Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert tested positive for coronavirus before that night's game against Oklahoma City Thunder. Boston, having played Utah the week before, ended up returning home to Milwaukee the next day and isolating himself, before Smart finally tested positive for the virus.
Stevens said that he and the rest of the Celtics continued to check on Smart and that he feels good, with Stevens also adding that he was proud of Smart for announcing his positive test and spreading the word to people to be smart and self-isolated try to delay spread of the disease.
"Obviously, this thing spreads very quickly, and it doesn't need as much contact as you get when you're in the middle of a basketball game," said Stevens. "I am happy that when he tested positive, he remained symptom free and has been feeling good ever since."
"We arrived from Milwaukee 15 days ago and he is feeling good. I get in touch with him just like everyone else, very regularly. I saw him on conference calls a few times and he seems to be doing very well.
"I'm proud of how he kind of took the initiative to tell people that he had it and that he felt good and that he went online and continued to ask people to practice social detachment and self-isolation at the moment. It's really unique, an unsettling time for everyone ".
Stevens admitted that he began to think about the gravity of the situation when the league announced restrictions on access to the media two days before the league was officially suspended indefinitely after Gobert's positive test, and said he thought the NBA closing things was a change. point of how the rest of the country started to see the virus.
"We were all flying to Milwaukee that Wednesday, after playing in Indiana, thinking that we would probably play the game without fans," he said. "But, obviously, everything changed during the game in Oklahoma City. And I think, in a unique way, it was the starting point for the entire country to recognize that."
"I know a lot of people who have experienced symptoms or who ultimately – in the entire NBA family – have achieved this. So I think it arrived well before that. But I think on Wednesday night [when Gobert tested positive] it will be something that we all remember and, obviously, in the following days, when we enter this type of new world. My heart goes out to all people [impacted by this].
"We are calling sitting at home an inconvenience. What a joke. There are so many people who work hard every day to try to help our communities and help the sick and put their own egos at risk. And I think that at any moment you turn on the TV, she comes home even more. "
As for basketball, Stevens said he went through the typical review process he does after the season is over, in order to try to be as ready as possible when – or if – the games resume. But he said that, until there is a timetable for a possible real resumption of the game, there is not much more to be done.
"I'm sure we will go into detail when some possible scenarios become clearer," said Stevens. "You turn on the TV and there are different points of view about how long it will take. Anyone who is talking scientifically or mathematically says it will take a while. You see that schools are closed here until May 4, you see all the opponents that stay at home across the country – I think there is a lot to determine.
"And I don't think you can determine [possible scenarios the NBA could return under] until you have a timeline – and it's almost impossible to get a timeline right now. "