From the time the Los Angeles Lakers began mandatory individual workouts at their UCLA Health Training Center to entering the Walt Disney World bubble in Orlando, Florida, the team has declined to specifically discuss the status of players and members of the organization.
“We’re not going to really get into the topic of sharing private medical information or HIPAA protected stuff,” Lakers vice president of basketball operations Rob Pelinka said at the end of June.
“I think what we’re seeing in the league is some people choose to step forward and talk about a positive test and their journey. We want those rights to come from those individuals.”
As the Lakers shared video and photos of players boarding the chartered flight and still images from Orlando practices, along with media from NBA-approved outlets, signs pointed to Markieff Morris not being with the team.
According to Kyle Goon and Mirjam Swanson of the Southern California News Group, Morris hasn’t yet entered the bubble but is expected to join the Lakers at some point:
A person with knowledge of the situation told Southern California News Group that Markieff Morris, who signed with the Lakers in February as a free agent, had an excused absence but was expected to join the team soon.
L.A. Clippers head coach Doc Rivers took a similar stance with respect to Marcus Morris, who also is not believed to have reported for the NBA restart.
News of Morris’ absence surfaced after Lakers head coach Frank Vogel declined to specifically discuss the recently-signed forward.
“We’re trying not to comment too much on individual player performances while we manage this time of respecting player privacies,” Vogel answered when asked for his impression of Morris in practices.
“So I’m going to refrain from commenting on that.”
Vogel was then directly asked if Morris was with the Lakers. “We’re not going to comment on which guys are here or which guys are not here, out of respect for player privacy,” he responded.
Vogel otherwise pleased with practices
While the Lakers’ head coach elected not to specifically address Morris’ status, he previously spoke highly of the team as a whole.
“The first two practices have gone really well, aside from losing Rajon. We’ve gotten a lot of teaching or re-implementing our habits and a lot of drill work that carried over,” Vogel said.
“We were doing some really good things that our guys picked back up very quickly.
“It gave me more reason to be optimistic and hopeful of what we can accomplish this year. We’re tough to score on, and when you have two elite offensive players and a great supporting cast, if you add a dominant defense to that, you’ve got a chance to do something special.”
Have you subscribed to our YouTube channel? It’s the best way to watch player interviews, exclusive coverage from events, participate in live shows, and more!