With the NBA allowing teams to return to practice facilities on Friday in states with eased stay-at-home orders, the Los Angeles Lakers must sit and wait.
Amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti has remained strict about the importance of staying at home. For L.A. residents and businesses, the stay-at-home orders will not be officially lifted until May 15, at the earliest.
The Lakers have targeted May 16 – the day after the orders are lifted – as their day to re-open the team’s El Segundo practice facility. However, that wasn’t their first choice.
The Lakers reportedly spoke with Garcetti’s office about the possibility of opening their practice facility before May 15, according to Dave McMenamin of ESPN:
The Lakers contacted the Los Angeles mayor’s office to inquire about the viability of having players use their practice facility before the current shelter-at-home order for L.A. residents expires on May 15, sources told ESPN.
It seems as though that request may have been denied, as the Lakers quickly pivoted to their May 16 plan. However, the team remaining in contact with Garcetti and his office is likely a good thing for when practices finally are allowed to resume.
On May 16 – even if the facility does re-open – the rules will be very strict on what can and can’t happen. Players will absolutely not be allowed to practice with one another, as the NBA wants to see how this goes for a couple weeks before proceeding further.
Even with all of these restrictions, it will be great for players to finally have a chance to play some basketball again. For players who don’t have an in-home basketball court, they have not been able to shoot on a hoop in nearly two months.
The NBA is hoping for a return to the 2019-20 NBA season in July, which would give players about a month and a half of increasingly intense workouts before needing to be at game level.