The Los Angeles Lakers had already planned to trim the number of coaches included on their 35-person traveling list for the NBA restart in Orlando, Florida, and then received word assistant Lionel Hollins was flagged as a medical risk.
The specific reason for the 66-year-old being ruled as such was not made public, though Hollins won’t be traveling with the Lakers when they head to Walt Disney World on Thursday. “It was very disappointing,” Lakers head coach Frank Vogel said.
“Coach Lionel had been intent on going the entire time. We’ve talked about it with our whole staff that this is a personal choice. Everyone has the ability to opt out if they’re not comfortable with the pandemic and everything that comes along with the virus. Lionel was OK with it, he was ready to go down with us.
“After the medical review, it was recommended that he does not go, and he accepted the recommendation. We support that fully. We all have to do what’s in our best interest to stay safe. Of course Lionel is going to do that.”
Hollins joined Avery Bradley as those within the Lakers organization who won’t be present for the NBA restart. Dwight Howard announced his intention to play and is due to meet the team in Orlando.
And in Hollins’ case, he will remain involved in a remote capacity. “One thing I’m excited about, with all the staff we’ve talked about in terms of who’s going to be in the bubble and who will be working outside, is we’re all still doing our jobs,” Vogel said.
“We’re going to continue to basically work remotely as opposed to working in person. We anticipate coach Lionel is still going to be every bit a part of our journey and participating in staff meetings, team meetings and observing practice. He’ll still be participating remotely and I’m looking forward to having that level of contribution from him.”
Vogel previously indicated the Lakers are hopeful to have more coaches enter the Orlando bubble if the team advances deep enough in the playoffs to reach the date in which the NBA will permit such additions.
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