LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — Utah Jazz guard Mike Conley has left the NBA "bubble" to return to Columbus, Ohio, for the birth of his son.
Conley made it clear in early July that he would be leaving the team temporarily to go be with his wife, Mary, and their expected third child, The Salt Lake Tribune reported. He also told members of the media that he had the support of the Jazz organization in doing so.
He left the bubble earlier than expected, however, as his wife gave birth more than a week and a half before her expected due date of Aug. 27.
The Jazz will begin their first-round playoff series against the Denver Nuggets on Monday.
Conley is expected to return to action following a four-day quarantine once he returns to the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World, where players and staff participating in the league's restart are isolating in "the bubble" due to COVID-19 concerns with a mandatory quarantine for anyone who leaves.
Conley's teammates expressed their support for him putting his family first.
"It's one of those things — it's much bigger than basketball. Him being there with his family and Mary is priority number one right now," Joe Ingles said. "We 100% support that... When he's ready to come back, we'll obviously have him back with open arms."
All-stars Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell showed their support for their teammate on Twitter.
"There is nothing more important in life than welcoming your little ones to this world. Congrats brother we will hold it down for you!" Gobert wrote.
Conley later posted photos of the new addition to the family, who they named Elijah Michael Conley, on Instagram: