The entire sports world continues to figure out how to proceed in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic that has shut down every major sports league for the foreseeable future.
The Los Angeles Lakers, who were in the midst of a championship-contending season, are now simply waiting for the chance to get back on the court.
However, they will have to wait in relative isolation as the NBA has strongly advised against meeting as a team to slow the spread of the virus. The Lakers met as a team via conference call to discuss what they can do to help flatten the curve.
On this conference call, players were instructed to work out at home or alone at the practice facility to follow guidelines for social distancing, according to Dave McMenamin of ESPN:
On the Lakers’ team conference call today to discuss protocol during the coronavirus spread, players were instructed to only work out at either the practice facility or their home gym, for safety reasons, sources told ESPN. And players are expected to check in with the team daily
— Dave McMenamin (@mcten) March 16, 2020
Over the next month or so, teams will need to take unprecedented steps in order to ensure the safety of the players and their families. The Lakers remain fortunate as no one in the organization has tested positive for coronavirus, but they’ll need to remain vigilant to keep it that way.
Should the NBA return for the 2019-20 NBA season, it will be interesting to see how the Lakers — as well as the rest of the league — deal with being away from one another for such an extended period of time.
Perhaps it will be a benefit for the Lakers — who rarely load managed this season — to have an elongated rest prior to the 2020 NBA playoffs. Or maybe it could harm the chemistry the team built so easily.
Whatever the case may be, the health and safety of the players and others around the league come first and the Lakers will have to continue navigating this unknown in any way they see fit.