The Los Angeles Lakers held their first team practice of training camp on Sunday, though not all members of the roster were on hand at the UCLA Health Training Center, including the returning Quinn Cook.
“He has to go through the protocols of six or seven days of testing from the time he signed. So he’ll be out for the first few days; I think he’s going to be cleared for Thursday’s practice,” head coach Frank Vogel said.
“So we did not have him and we did not have a full slate of the rest of the guys either, but I prefer not to get into how many guys were not here or which guys were not here.”
Vogel later was willing to clarify and note that the Lakers had “most” of the roster available for practice. However, Wesley Matthews then alluded to Alfonzo McKinnie also not being part of the first team practice.
A Lakers spokesperson called it an excused absence for McKinnie. https://t.co/iurzMDAoKf
— Bill Oram (@billoram) December 6, 2020
When the Lakers began practicing ahead of the NBA restart last season, they declined to specifically state which players were and weren’t available, or what reason(s) may have been behind absences.
With only a handful of days to hold training camp before their first preseason game Friday, Vogel believes the Lakers can draw from that prior experience. “I do think starting off in the bubble helped us with trying to manage this phase right now,” he said.
“It’s more like that second restart training camp than the September training camp we had last year. We will manage it that type of way.”
Part of managing the new reality is going without all possible players or coaches. “It’s dramatically different,” Vogel said of this training camp compared to one before a typical season.
“Not having a month’s worth of pickup games and knowledge that our guys have been playing and are in good shape, makes you very cautious with how much we’re going to try to do early on in this camp.
“We don’t have our Exhibit 10 guys, we don’t have some of the coaching associates, interns that we typically have to throw into drills. We’re very much more shorthanded than we would’ve been this time last year, but we’ve just got to make the best of it.
“This is what everybody league-wide is encountering. We’re adapting and we’re going to make the best of it.”
Wesley Matthews, Montrezl Harrell preach accountability
With the NBA looking to play the 2020-21 season in home markets, it invariably has created a challenge that was essentially eliminated with their Orlando bubble. For Wesley Matthews and Montrezl Harrell, they emphasized players have to take the onus to best protect themselves from potentially contracting COVID-19.
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