Things are starting to finally pick back up in professional sports as leagues have begun making concrete plans on how they will resume live action despite the ongoing public health crisis with coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
For the NBA, they formally announced the return of the 2019-20 NBA season after a three-month hiatus. It was an exciting season to say the least as there were several teams like the Los Angeles Lakers who established themselves as firm title contenders while a host of other teams were making their case to seriously compete come playoff time.
Both the NBA and NBPA agreed on a 22-team format and those invited to participate in the season’s return are slated to make the trip to the bubble location in Orlando’s Walt Disney World. Players who were quarantining overseas are expected to report to their teams by June 15 while the rest of the league needs to be back in town by June 22.
Teams are expected to move on-site at the end of June and early July, but in the meantime still have access to their team’s training facilities. The league recently allowed for their use with certain protocols in place, but it appears that they are beginning to relax some of those rules, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic:
Sources: The NBA has informed teams that starting today, up to two coaches/development personnel can work out a player. Beginning June 23, a team’s head coach can supervise a player’s workout.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) June 12, 2020
Under the previous guidelines the league put in place, players were only allowed to work out one-on-one with trainers but it appears the NBA feels comfortable enough to allow more personnel involved with on-court work and conditioning. Head coaches have not been able to work with their players aside from film, so allowing them supervision is another step toward normalcy in day-to-day operations.
The previous workouts were a boon for players like Alex Caruso who recently described what it was like to work with a limited training staff. Most players were unable to get legitimate workouts in because of their home situation and the lack of equipment on hand, so that time in the facility is valuable especially when considering what is at stake in Orlando.
Los Angeles has reportedly been diligent in trying to stay in shape and the players have remained in constant contact to hold each other accountable and stay focused on the goal of winning the 2020 NBA title. Although there is growing hesitancy among a good portion of the league’s players to play in the bubble location, the sense is that the season will return as scheduled.