The sports world has been indefinitely put on pause as the world fights against the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Professional sports leagues, following the advice of the government and leading health officials, have suspended play for the time being and urged team personnel and players to stay home.
For the Los Angeles Lakers, they were playing some of their best basketball of the 2019-20 NBA season when the league decided to stop play and put the season on hiatus. Almost immediately after, Lakers players were tested and two unfortunately tested positive for coronavirus.
Everyone on the roster was then forced into a 14-day self-isolation period but the good news is that those players and the rest of the team have been cleared and are showing no symptoms. It was a scary moment given what the world knows of the virus, but thankfully that is past them now.
In vice president of basketball operations and general manager Rob Pelinka’s eyes, this season has certainly had its challenges but they have done their best with what they have had to endure, according to Dave McMenamin of ESPN:
“It’s almost like I look at our season like a series of tests, and we got a lot of As. And we got some A-pluses and some A-minuses. And I think there has been a lot of success in that,” he said. “We haven’t had the chance to take a final exam yet. But that doesn’t mean we’re not going to celebrate the As that we’ve gotten so far.”
It certainly feels like the Lakers have been put through the wringer as they have had to deal with the death of Kobe Bryant to begin the year and now a global pandemic that halted all the momentum and rhythm they had built. The challenge for Los Angeles is now finding ways to effectively work out and stay in shape, but there is nothing like live game action for players.
Regardless, the league office has their hands full in trying to salvage the season as there are numerous questions that need to be answered. One of the major questions facing the league is how players and personnel will be tested and cleared in a timely manner because no one will want to step on the court without peace of mind they will not contract the virus.
There are other logistical questions too, but health safety is the No. 1 priority for everyone and the NBA needs to address that first before play can be resumed.