The restrictions placed by the league in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic have forced teams to take unprecedented action in an effort to save the 2019-20 NBA season.
They have seemingly taken one step closer to a return to action by allowing teams to open their practice facilities in states where there are more lax stay-at-home orders. Unfortunately, the Los Angeles Lakers do not appear to be among the first wave of teams that will be allowed back after petitioning with their own local government.
The Lakers are seemingly set up to be at a disadvantage with other teams already getting back into the swing of things. However, it appears head coach Frank does not appear to be too concerned.
According to ESPN’s Dave McMenamin, Vogel feels his team will have more than enough time to get back on track if the season ultimately resumes:
“There’s a competitive balance element to this that I personally am not really all that concerned about,” Vogel said on a video conference call with reporters on Wednesday. “I think we’re still a long way away from returning to play.”
Vogel added that the Lakers are hardly the only team that will be taking a patient approach in their return to the practice facilities.
“There’s a handful of teams around the league that are going to be back on the eighth. Most of them will not,” he said. “We’ll continue to see how things progress next week.”
The Lakers have reportedly set a target date to re-open their facilities on May 16. That is one day after Los Angeles County’s current stay-at-home order.
With the mandate in the county could be lifted or extended, the Lakers presumably will be among those trying to get back to business. Of course, it is safe to assume that they will continue to take all the necessary precautions to ensure player safety.
It has been nearly two months since the NBA suspended the season amid the coronavirus outbreak and players are going to need ample time to get back into playing shape if the league hopes to finish out the year on a high note.
Vogel’s comments indicate that he would prefer to continue taking a patient approach by eventually setting up some tune-up games to help his team get their second wind back before proceeding with the playoffs.