Steven Adams jokes he stayed sharp for NBA restart by 'boxing out cows' on family farm

Cassandra Negley
·3 min read

Quarantine necessitated creativity and Oklahoma City Thunder center Steven Adams didn’t disappoint.

Adams returned home to New Zealand shortly after the NBA season was postponed due to the COVID-19 crisis in early March. He spent most of his time on his family farm outside of Tauranga.

“It was relaxing, mate,” Adams told reporters. “I was on the farm doing farm work, got a bit of a farmer’s tan going on for a little bit. The cows are doing good.”

They were also the chosen workout for Adams in a time of isolation.

“I was boxing out cows,” Adams quipped, via the team site.

Whatever it takes.

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Adams, who turns 27 this month, spoke to reporters on a Zoom call on Thursday, and when asked about how he’s adapting to technology, spit out another one-liner: “I’m not bloody 60, bro.”

The Thunder (40-24) are getting ready for the NBA to resume at Disney World later this month. They will face the Utah Jazz in their first game back, the same matchup that was called off March 11 as the league was suspended due to a positive COVID-19 test.

Adams on New Zealand’s handling of COVID-19

Oklahoma City Thunder center Steven Adams during an NBA basketball game against the Memphis Grizzlies Wednesday, Dec. 18, 2019, in Oklahoma City. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)
Oklahoma City Thunder center Steven Adams had his eyes on the cows. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)

Adams was in quarantine the first 14 days he was back home in New Zealand. The country closed its borders in March and only allowed in citizens. He was eventually able to get into the gym to play pick-up basketball games, he said, because the country handled the virus so well.

“There was a few hiccups here and there, but for the most part New Zealanders generally are quite compliant with rules, you know what I mean?" Adams told reporters, via The Oklahoman. He added the country had a “really good healthcare system.”

“Everyone was kind of making sure that we follow the rules properly, maintain distance and what not. Collectively, all the Kiwis did a really, really good job with that, and that’s what kind of shut it down. But then again, it is a bit different. We’re just a smaller country and our borders are easily managed.”

By mid-May the country had three consecutive days with no new cases and began allowing businesses to reopen. After 26 days of no new cases, there were two in June from people in the same family who traveled from the U.K. via Australia. They were automatically put quarantine. New Zealand now has even stricter measures at the border.

New Zealand, a country of 4.9 million, has had 1,180 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 22 deaths per the country’s Ministry of Health on Friday.

Florida has a population of about 21.48 million and as of Friday has had 169,098 cases and 3,616 deaths, per the New York Times. Cases are spiking in the state and there are concerns about the NBA’s bubble plan.

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