With the calendar now having turned to July, the Los Angeles Lakers — along with the rest of the teams invited to the 2019-20 NBA season restart — are making the trip to Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida, within the next few days.
The Lakers are scheduled to arrive on July 9, which is the last final possible day. They will be lodged at the Gran Destino Tower along with the Milwaukee Bucks and L.A. Clippers, among other teams.
Preparations for the trip are currently ongoing, as players have begun their mandatory individual workouts at respective training facilities. In addition, they have also been complying with the league’s coronavirus (COVID-19) testing protocol.
Players are required to test every other day up until their date of travel, but the NBA has also given directions for players who will be making the trip to Orlando separately, according to Malika Andrews of ESPN:
If a player misses a scheduled coronavirus test in the two days prior to the team’s departure date — or has “extenuating circumstances” that have been disclosed to the league — he must arrange his own travel to join his team as the league restarts its season. The player has the option of flying on a charter flight at the player’s expense, traveling by car, or flying commercial, the memo said. If a player flies privately or drives, he will have to have two negative test results before resuming basketball activities. If he flies commercially, the player must have three consecutive negative test results, according to the memo.
If a player has not been getting tested regularly over the past several weeks, fulfilling the NBA’s requirements, he is required to have six consecutive negative test results upon arrival before participating.
There are already several people who will have to travel on their own as it was discovered this past week that more positive cases have occurred within teams’ traveling parties. The Miami Heat and Denver Nuggets unfortunately saw more than one person test positive, while the Clippers and Bucks closed their training facilities after they saw positive cases of their own.
Aside from COVID-19 cases, the Lakers will also have to figure out how to accommodate Dwight Howard who is still undecided about joining the team in Orlando. Howard has been back in his home state of Georgia tending to his family after the tragic loss of his 6-year-old son’s mother.
Despite the rising number of cases, the NBA appears set to go on with the season’s return, but another escalation in the situation may force Adam Silver to reconsider the move.
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