Although the Los Angeles Lakers were able to compile the Western Conference’s best record at 49-14, it is unclear whether or not fans will see them build upon it as the NBA and the rest of the sports world have suspended their seasons and leagues due to the coronavirus.
The NBA took swift action to protect against the virus after it was discovered that Rudy Gobert tested positive for the coronavirus and since then, owners and their teams have begun the process of testing and self-quarantining.
Although the NBA is not allowing for teams to practice as a whole, they are still allowing players to get voluntary one-on-one workouts at their team’s training facility.
Mike Trudell of Lakers helped explained why the players are still intent on getting to the gym despite the pandemic:
Part of the reason for players to continue individual workouts is the hope of resuming games, and preparing for the playoffs at some point in the near future (we’ll get to what Commissioner Adam Silver said about that below). It takes a ton of work to be in “NBA game shape,” and players will want to do their best to stay ready despite not being able to actually practice or play in pickup games. Doing cardio, lifting weights, doing shooting and other individual drills can at least keep guys close to maintaining what they’ve built physically to this point of the season.
Trudell also discussed why the Lakers, in particular, have been so determined to continue their training:
The Lakers have been an extremely driven team all season, with one goal in mind: a championship. Frank Vogel’s squad built a Western-Conference-leading 49-14 record, including at least one road win in every single Western opponent’s building, with the exception of Minnesota, where they have yet to play. LeBron and AD have set a focused, intense tone in the locker room that still has room for fun (and, well, winning is more fun than losing). I’m sure they want to try and keep their eyes on the prize as best they can, even through the hiatus, and being able to work out individually is one step.
LeBron James and Anthony Davis have raised the bar of expectations for Los Angeles throughout the regular season and it appears the suspension is not preventing them and the rest of the roster from getting sidetracked. Their health is of course the utmost priority, but it is good to see that they are still focused on a championship.
For now, however, the Lakers and the rest of the league are in wait-and-see mode as more information about the coronavirus comes out.