The Los Angeles Lakers continue to navigate through unfamiliar territory after the 2019-20 NBA season was suspended due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
The untimely break has left players and coaches alike trying to prepare for the prospect of their return to the court. Unfortunately, the hiatus has also left many of those that help with day-to-day operations within the team out of work.
The NBA still has yet to deterimine a potential timetable for a return and a decision may not be made until at least early May. As a result, it appears the Lakers have made efforts to get ahead of the situation.
According to Dave McMenamin of ESPN, the team reportedly will be asking their top executives to take a pay cut:
In an attempt to shield lesser-income employees from being asked to take a pay cut during the uncertain economic times caused by the coronavirus pandemic, the Los Angeles Lakers plan to ask the team’s top brass to make a monetary sacrifice, league sources confirmed to ESPN.
The Lakers reportedly will have them give up 20 percent of their salaries to help cover the cost:
Lakers ownership, after consulting with the franchise’s financial advisers, will ask select members of its senior-level personnel to voluntarily defer 20% of their salaries, sources told ESPN.
This is hardly the first time the Lakers have taken action to help out their employees. They also partnered with the Los Angeles Clippers, Los Angeles Kings, and Staples Center to create a fund for their hourly staff that earned their income from working the games once the suspension was announced last month.
Los Angeles is currently the second-most valuable franchise in the NBA at an estimated $4.4 billion. It appears they will now use this fortune to emulate the action taken by the league when it reduced base salaries by 20 percent for their top executives.
There is now talk about the NBA and NBPA potentially opting to have the players defer up to 25 percent of their salaries if the season is unable to continue. Like the Lakers, this could have a severe impact on some of the league’s lesser-income players.
Commissioner Adam Silver has since acknowledged that a decision on the season’s future may not happen until some time in May. For now, the Lakers are looking to ensure their staff is taken care of until further action is determined by the league.