Eight weeks have passed since the NBA indefinitely suspended the 2019-2020 regular season in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Recent weeks have seen multiple scenarios emerge with respect on how to resume play and stage the playoffs. However, first teams have to return to the court in a practice setting, which for some is coming Friday.
That initially was slated to occur May 1, but the NBA pushed the date back in response to multiple teams raising concerns over safety. While some teams will benefit from local governments having loosened stay-at-home orders, the Los Angeles Lakers are not among them.
Instead, the organization hopes to re-open its El Segundo practice facility on Saturday, May 16, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium:
Lakers are hopeful to open facility then — and will continue working with the appropriate government and health officials to ensure safety for players and staff during the fluid coronavirus situation. https://t.co/0xw2sblPKy
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) May 7, 2020
The Lakers’ reported target date is one day after the current order in place for Los Angeles County. And though California Gov. Gavin Newsom is easing restrictions beginning Friday, Mayor Eric Garcetti has emphasized Los Angeles will continued to take a measured approach.
The Lakers reportedly were among the professional California teams that attempted to lobby Gov. Newsom into placing sports in the second phase of his re-opening plan. They don’t appear to have succeeded, with sports (no fans in attendance) earmarked for phase three and phase four (with fans).
Should the NBA manage to have most of its teams resume on-court activities at their respective facilities, it could be the first step toward setting a timeline for the season starting. Though, several precautions are going to remain in place, limiting group workouts.
Furthermore, the league reportedly envisions separate two-week stretches of a quarantine and training camp prior to picking back up with games.
If and when the NBA is comfortable moving forward with the regular season and/or playoffs, that appears likely to come at Disney World or Las Vegas.