The Los Angeles Lakers were arguably the hottest team in basketball when the NBA got shut down due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, holding the best record in the Western Conference at 49-14 after consecutive wins over the Milwaukee Bucks and L.A. Clippers.
While a lot of time has passed since then, the Lakers will have to find a way to recapture that magic if they want to be crowned NBA champions in 2020.
It’s still unclear when the season will return, but as time has gone by, it has become more certain that basketball will be played at some point as opposed to cancelling the remainder of the season.
Finding a place to work out and stay in basketball shape during the pandemic hasn’t been easy for players, but it does not appear that will get in the way of the Lakers and their chase for a championship.
According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, LeBron James organized private workouts with some of his Lakers teammates during this time in a safe environment:
“In L.A., LeBron James has held private workouts with one to two teammates at a time, at a closed-off, private location, on-court, I’m told. All the safety measures have been taken, I’m told, in these private workouts. Everyone involved has been tested, everyone involved has practiced social distancing, everyone involved has taken the necessary steps to make sure they’re following all the guidelines.”
Charania added that other teams like the Clippers have been doing the same, which should make for an even playing field if the two L.A. teams meet in the postseason.
While when the season will get started back up remains to be seen, it appears that the NBA is in the process of nailing down a location to host the remaining games. The most recent report indicates that Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando is the frontrunner over Las Vegas, although the league could end up using both locations to separate the two conferences as well.
The NBA is expected to send guidelines for a return to teams around June 1, so a lot of the question marks will be cleared up in the coming weeks. In the meantime, the Lakers’ practice facility has been re-opened so James and his teammates now have another option to continue preparing for the resumption of the season.