The Los Angeles Lakers might be free from the isolation of the Orlando bubble, but as the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic still ravages the U.S. they have to adhere to social health and safety protocols during the 2020-21 season.
Lakers head coach Frank Vogel recently revealed he had not seen his parents since January 2020 and still could not meet his loved ones on the recent stop in Philadelphia. That was due to the tightened health and safety protocols the NBA implemented to halt COVID-19 outbreaks across the league.
Those protocols have reportedly been revisioned following talks between the NBA and NBPA, allowing four friends and family members to visit players while on a road trip if their guests meet certain criteria.
Meanwhile, some arenas are permitting a limited number of fans to attend games, which Kyle Kuzma’s mother, Karri, took advantage of during the Lakers’ 107-92 loss to the Detroit Pistons.
“I bet she was very, very happy to be there,” Kuzma said. “A couple of my cousins came as well. My mom has been going through a tough time recently. One of her best friends just passed away, so I’m sure her seeing her boy starting, playing the Pistons where I’m from, means everything to her. I’m glad she was able to be there for that.”
Understandably, Kuzma’s mom enjoyed cheering on her son live in the arena even despite the upsetting loss. She had not seen the Utah alum live in action for an extended period of time as she did not come to the Orlando bubble, where the 2019-20 season restarted last July.
Vogel takes blame for Pistons loss
The Lakers have lost consecutive games for the first time this season — previously falling to the 76ers on Wednesday for their first road defeat. Without Anthony Davis, who was given a night off due to quad contusion, L.A. seemed to have run out of gas in the second half and scored just 14 points in the fourth quarter.
After the game, Vogel accepted responsibility for the defeat saying his rotation did not allow the team to find its rhythm. “I’ve got to do a better job putting guys in the right spots to be successful and use our depth,” he said. “We just didn’t get going in that second half.”
Have you subscribed to our YouTube channel? It’s the best way to watch player interviews, exclusive coverage from events, participate in live shows, and more!