The 2019-20 Los Angeles Lakers were a joyful surprise as they gelled together much quicker than analysts expected and planted themselves atop the Western Conference.
However, the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic cut any momentum toward a 2020 NBA championship and now the Lakers are forced to try and stay in shape at home during these trying times.
“They’re okay. I’m not going to lie to you guys and say they’re the best workouts ever. Let’s just be honest. Imagine right now me and you talking through a laptop and doing free weights in here and lunges and watching someone do it. It’s more for camaraderie and that’s what our team is. There’s no team that has better camaraderie, better chemistry than us.”
“And that’s not me making it up. It’s just my experience with all these teams I’ve been around. I talk to other players around the league. We enjoy each other. We talk all the time, everyone knows about the group chat. A lot of teams do have a group chat, but it’s not as lit as ours. We got videos and memes, there’s something always going on. We’re always making fun of people, cracking jokes, but it’s gotten a little more serious. People know time’s of the essence. We don’t want to be doing nothing and then time you get there a month from now and we can start training and we got to start from training and we can’t have too many setbacks.”
The Lakers chemistry off the floor was arguably more impressive than their play and it speaks volumes about how well things were going for Los Angeles. Dudley is one of the most honest players in the league and he has praised the team chemistry on more than one occasion, so it is good to see that everyone still remains close.
While team camaraderie is definitely not an issue, staying in shape is and that is arguably the greatest challenge each player will have to overcome if and when the regular season does resume. A training camp or conditioning period needs to be put in place for the players to properly get acclimated, especially if they are going to be thrust into game-time action immediately.
The Lakers should still be considered a favorite to win it all once the quarantine is lifted, but that appears to be a long way off still.