LOS ANGELES — Dennis Schroder raised both of his hands above his head and rested them on his white beanie that was part of the white-shirt ensemble he was wearing, and then the Lakers point guard proceeded to criticize the NBA after he had landed in the league's health and safety protocols.
Schroder said he never had COVID-19 and "tested negative," but he had to quarantine for seven days after it was determined that "somebody in my house" was in violation of contact tracing protocols.
He was cleared to play Friday night against the Portland Trail Blazers after he was forced to miss four games that the Lakers lost.
Schroder's return to the lineup was much needed for the Lakers, his 22 points, three rebounds and two assists a big part of their 102-93 victory.
But he was not happy that the NBA forced him to miss those games while he was in the health and safety protocols.
"It hurts, first off. I never had COVID. Tested negative the whole time. The situation is what it is. But the NBA I think got to do better," Schroder said late Friday night. "I think for sure they need to do better. I mean, I tested negative the whole time. I never had positive. They got to figure that out, for sure."
Schroder had arrived at Staples Center on Feb. 18 for a big showdown between the Lakers and Brooklyn Nets.
Lakers coach Frank Vogel told the media about 1 1/2 hours before the start of the game how he was looking forward to seeing Schroder compete against Brooklyn's Kyrie Irving. But about 15 minutes after his comment, the Lakers said Schroder would not play.
Schroder said he "was inside the arena" when he got a call from Rob Pelinka, the Lakers' vice president of basketball operations and general manager, "saying you might not be able to play."
Schroder said the contact tracing went back to his home. He had reservations about those results.