The 2019-20 NBA season has been an unconventional one since the league was forced to shut down due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, but the Los Angeles Lakers’ goal of winning their 17th championship remains alive.
As the country has begun to get the pandemic under control, the NBA explored discussions for its plan of action in order to finish out the season. Generally speaking, the first step to that was the re-opening of practice facilities across the league.
The Lakers re-opened theirs nearly one month ago, so players have begun getting back in game shape ahead of the July 31 target date for resumption of the season.
While the focus has begun to shift back to basketball, player safety still remains the league’s No. 1 priority. Because of that, there are strict limitations on workouts at the practice facilities, which Alex Caruso described in an interview on “Mornings with Keyshawn, LZ and Travis” on ESPN Radio:
“I did have a little at-home gym going, but thankfully they’re letting us back in the facility. … It’s all one-on-one; me and a coach. They’re allowing us to go in and they’re doing a really good job of keeping it safe and taking precaution. It’s me and one strength coach in the weight room, and then me and one basketball coach on the court. No three-on-three, no contact of any sort.
“But just the fact they’re letting us back in the gym is a good start. … Max players allowed in the facility at one time is four. It’s usually a couple-hour window where you can get treatment, shots, weights, whatever you need to do. They disinfect, clean the place, and the next group of guys comes in.”
It is good to see that the Lakers, and hopefully all of the other teams, are taking player safety seriously at their practice facilities. Player safety doesn’t include coronavirus, but also general injuries considering how much time these players have been away from the court.
With the NBA hoping to resume the season at the end of July, training camps are expected to begin within the next three weeks, and teams will then head to the Orlando bubble early next month.
That essentially gives the players two months to prepare, which should be plenty of time for everyone to get into shape and avoid serious injury by rushing back.