Since the outbreak of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), the NBA has been desperately trying to find ways to feasibly continue the the 2019-20 regular season and ensuing playoffs.
However, that has proven to be a difficult challenge because of the contagious nature of the virus and inability to source the necessary number of tests. Also, there is the issue of figuring out enough preparation time for players to get back into game shape.
California has done a better job in recent weeks flattening the curve and limiting the amount of positive cases, but is still not in a position to begin opening up all businesses and workplaces.
California Gov. Gavin Newsome has repeatedly said reopening the state will come down to data and science, but recently unveiled a four-stage plan to doing so.
According to Sam Amick and Joe Vardon of The Athletic, the Los Angeles Lakers are among the California-based teams who are hoping to convince Newsom to modify his phased plan:
Sources say all four of the league’s California teams (Lakers, Clippers, Warriors, Kings) are hoping to convince Governor Gavin Newsom to include them in “Stage 2” of his reopening plan, perhaps with the help of the mayors in their respective cities. As Newsom detailed via Twitter on Tuesday, that stage would include “gradually reopening some lower-risk workplaces with adaptations.”
The hope, if he agreed to do so, is that those teams could return to their facilities by the third week in May.
The NBA was proactive in limiting exposure between players and team employees by reducing access to their training facilities and then ultimately banning all workouts as the situation escalated. Now, though, is a sign of progress if there are talks of trying to convince Gov. Newsom to allow them to get back to practice in a safe fashion.
While the California NBA teams are going to be vying for his approval, other franchises are going to be able to get back to training sooner as their respective states’ stay-at-home orders are expiring. However, that does not mean they are able to simply practice like they used to as the teams would need to complete a checklist of guidelines set forth by the NBA to truly reopen.
As things currently stand, the Lakers and the rest of the NBA are still on standby awaiting to see what develops over the coming days and weeks. While there is some legitimate optimism about resuming the regular season, it seems as though it is still a long ways off.