With the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic putting sports on hold, NBA officials have been busy trying to find solutions to get back to playing.
The hiatus has forced players into an unenvious position of trying to stay in shape without the equipment and access to trainers they are accustomed to. While some players are fortunate enough to have their own gyms and courts, most do not have that luxury and need to get creative with their workouts.
The Los Angeles Lakers have been doing their best to keep each other accountable through virtual workouts, but still face the same problems their peers do. While working out on their own has not been too bad, Jared Dudley explained that players would need more several weeks to prepare to get back to NBA action.
“I would say a minimum of four to six weeks. It’s not even necessarily game shape, I just want people to realize this. We can’t go seven straight days, we still have to have off days. So realistically you would think five or six days on, one day off,” Dudley explained in an interview with LakersNation.com.
“So once you have that it’s a build-up. We go hard one or two days, OK now you’re sore, we gotta slow it down. That’s why there’s an offseason that builds it back up. We’re going from an offseason technically. It’s a short offseason, but one where people are working out less than they ever have in their entire life.
“Never working with a trainer, no stretches, no run on the court, you’re shooting less. And so I say a minimum of 4-6, I heard the Windhorst proposal of 25 days, that’s not nearly enough. Will guys sign off on it? Yes, because money is bigger than a lot of other issues. So you will have tons of injuries. You’ll have more injuries than you’ve ever seen for a game. So that’s why for us it’s about health.”
Dudley’s concern about injury and rest are well-founded as rushing into high-level play only increases the risk of players getting hurt and that is something the league should be looking to avoid at all costs.
Steady workout regimens and schedules do not replace high-intensity basketball, so Dudley’s projection of four to six weeks of practice and preparation seems about right.
Either way, nailing down an adjustment period is secondary to finding a hosting site for the remainder of the 2019-20 NBA regular season. Until that is done, at-home training will have to suffice.