Steve Adams before an NBA game with the New Orleans Pelicans. Photo / Getty
Steven Adams has detailed the major differences between New Zealand and United States border controls during the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Kiwi-born NBA center has moved between the two countries in the past 12 months, having returned to New Zealand when the NBA was suspended for four months.
Adams spent two weeks in quarantine upon arriving home, and kept on talking Parents and Three People podcasts with JJ Redick – one of Adams’ teammates at the New Orleans Pelicans – and Tommy Alter, he says it is a stark contrast to what he experienced on his return to the US.
“[I] no problem [getting into New Zealand]… Once I got in, I had to isolate myself for two weeks, it was quite intense, “he said.
“It’s not like you just show up and they say ‘Cool, get out of here.’ You have to write down your number, your Skype address, where you live and then they check you out, and they’ll send the local police to go and have a look – see if you really isolate … so it’s not just some kind of peeing around.
“There’s a lot more going on there than when I had to go back to America.
“When I had to come back, they were like ‘Oh yeah … just go … get out of here.’
Adams said unlike other countries, there was a seamless transition to the lockdown of New Zealand’s population, which he did to the people.
“There is no distrust of the Government, or the authorities. Everyone is just following the rules. There are a few mishaps once in a while, but mostly it is not like the weird social infection that grows and everyone like slowly won’t believe anything. Everyone is level-headed.
“The biggest advantage [was] how quickly the Government reacts to the situation, so the starting point is perhaps the most important. “
Adams stayed on his farm in the Bay of Plenty for most of his return trips. He said it was a happy place for him during the pandemic.
“Farming is more of a lifesaver – because routines don’t change.
“As a farmer – cows don’t care, they just need to be cared for. Everything is normal.”
“Especially at that time … so much uncertainty with the future. Nobody knew what was going on, they were like ‘We’ll bring it back, the NBA will start and then the next day like’ Well, no no ‘.
He described the farm as “a wonderful place”.
“If you see it [the farm], it has to be like a work of art, “he added.
“There’s a nice hill over there, right on the beach … a volcano in the distance, there’s a forest behind, there’s deer playing there. It’s just a dairy farm, nice and green.”
The league was suspended on March 11 and returned on July 30 in 2020, leaving for four months without basketball when usually the end of the regular season, playoffs and finals takes place.
Since returning to the US, Adams has worn the two-team strip. Playing for the Oklahoma City Thunder to complete the Covid-affected season, he was swapped for the New Orleans Pelicans before the 2020-21 campaign.