The Los Angeles Lakers have taken another step closer to a potential return to the 2019-20 NBA season by making their way back to the facility amid the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
The Lakers shut down their facility in March shortly before it was revealed that two players had tested positive for the disease. They had to oblige with the stay-at-home orders issued by California Gov. Gavin Newsom before ultimately being cleared for a return to action.
Quinn Cook was able to navigate some of the restrictions placed by the local government by working out with Jarrett Jack in Atlanta. Fortunately, the easing of restrictions in California drew him back for workouts at the Lakers’ practice facility.
Cook explained to Jared Dudley during an Instagram live session the precautions that are now being taken, via Tania Ganguli of the L.A. Times:
“We had to leave whatever we wore, whatever shoes and flip-flops we wore, we had to leave them outside,” Cook said during an Instagram live session with his teammate Jared Dudley. “We had to wash our hands as soon as we walk in the door. Once we get inside, all of our stuff is kind of right there on the court.”
Cook expanded on some of the other steps the organization has taken to try and ensure player safety.
Cook said he was required to wear a mask once he entered the building, but not while conducting his workout. Penberthy wore a mask and gloves at all times. Cook also worked with strength coach Gunnar Peterson in a slightly altered weight room with the machines spread a little bit farther apart than they normally are. “It just felt good to be back in the facility,” Cook said.
Cook’s comments indicate that while a few changes were noticeable, it does not appear to have had too much of an impact on his overall workout. Perhaps this could be an encouraging sign for the rest of the players to start making their way back to El Segundo.
Cook was reportedly joined by Devontae Cacok as the only two players at the facility over the weekend. Meanwhile, Dudley added during his chat on Instagram that he and Danny Green would also be returning to the facility within the week.
Although the facility may be open, the NBA public health officials have given the Lakers some protocols to maintain for the time being. This includes only allowing four players at a time in the building and are designated just one assistant coach to work with.
The restrictions may be seen as somewhat tedious for players contemplating a return, however, it is certainly a step in the right direction. It will only be a matter of time before they must get used to taking such precautions if they hope to formally finish out the year.