The Los Angeles Lakers have been extremely fortunate so far this season in regards to the ongoing global pandemic that has ravaged much of the NBA.
Alex Caruso was forced to be away from the team for a short time due to coming in contact with someone who contracted coronavirus (COVID-19), but no player on the Lakers has actually tested positive this season.
One advantage the team and organization has is leadership from the top down. From owner Jeanie Buss to head coach Frank Vogel and superstar LeBron James, the tone is set and the rest of the team has followed suit.
“We have been diligent in trying to follow the protocols as closely as possible, with the social distancing, mask wearing and everything that goes into trying to stay safe with this thing,” Vogel explained.
James added: “First of all, we’ve been trying to be extremely responsible. The whole Lakers organization, we haven’t had anyone who’s had to miss days or whatever the case may be since we started.
“We’re doing our testing, guys for the majority are staying in their rooms and social distancing and things of that nature. We’re just trying to do everything that the protocols are telling us we can or cannot do and just trying to follow that to a T. Some things you can’t control.
Luck is something not always thought about, but clearly the Lakers have benefitted. Regardless of how cautious they are, if they happen to play and be in contact with a team who suddenly has positive tests, all of that goes out the window.
“The virus doesn’t discriminate. I’m sure there’s plenty of other teams being as diligent as us that haven’t been as lucky,” Vogel said. “We have had good luck so far. Hopefully that continues.”
Teams have been forced to adjust to this new normal, and the Lakers clearly have been hit far less than many others such as the Washington Wizards and Memphis Grizzlies.
“What we can control is just trying to stay responsible, do the things we can do and that’s allowed us to be full for our games,” James said. “Because of the strict protocols and stuff, we don’t really have much time to practice, especially on the road.
“A lot of gyms aren’t open, a lot of arenas aren’t open unless it’s a game. You can’t really prepare things on the floor, so you’ve got to do it in film room and things of that nature.
“To have our full group, we’re using a lot of our games as extensive practices to continue to work our habits, continue to work our strategic plan on how we can get better and better as the months go on. Through luck, yes, but also being responsible as well has allowed us to be whole pretty much throughout the season so far.”
3-Point, Dunk Contests may be added to 2021 All-Star Game
After it was assumed that there would be no All-Star Weekend at all, recent reports have surfaced that the All-Star Game is now on track to take place, with Atlanta being the likely host, but that may not be all.
The NBA and NBPA are reportedly discussing the idea of adding the 3-point and Dunk contests and having a full All-Star Weekend.
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