Oklahoma City Thunder guard Dennis Schroder has left the NBA bubble in Orlando to be with his wife for the birth of their second child, Thunder head coach Billy Donovan told media members on Monday. Donovan didn't disclose how long Schroder will be away from the team, but did say he should have a clearer timeline in the coming days.
"Dennis is away from the team right now with his family," Donovan said before the Thunder faced off against the Denver Nuggets. "It happened this morning, so he's with his family at this point in time. I'll have a chance probably to talk to him and find out a little bit more, if it's not later today or tomorrow. Right now, for at least this game, he'll be out. We'll probably be able to gather some more information once we get a chance to spend a little more time with him over the phone."
The move doesn't come as a surprise as Schroder stated publicly that he planned to leave the bubble to be with his wife when their child was being born last month.
"I'm not gonna leave my wife by herself while she's having a second baby," Schroder said in July, via The Oklahoman. "Dennis Jr. is still 17 months old, so I'm for sure gonna go there and support her and try as much as I can to be there for my family."
While it was difficult for Schroder to leave his teammates in the midst of their playoff push, some things are just bigger than basketball.
"For me it's tough," Schroder said of the decision. "I love my teammates, I love basketball, but family comes first all the time. I'll try to make something happen with the organization. I sacrifice a lot for my team, but like I said, we still gotta get on the same page that I can see my family maybe when the baby is coming. We're going to make it work."
Schroder has been a big part of Oklahoma City's success this season, as the reserve guard is averaging 18.9 points, 4.0 assists and 3.7 rebounds per game. When he ultimately returns to the NBA campus in Orlando, Schroder will have to quarantine in his hotel room, while consistently testing negative for COVID-19, before he is able to rejoin his teammates out on the court. Considering this, Schroder is likely to miss a couple of seeding games, but the Thunder should have him back before postseason play gets underway.