Over the last several days since the NBA season was suspended to deal with the threat of COVID-19, or the coronavirus, we’ve gotten several updates on how the Los Angeles Lakers are handling things.
We already learned that NBA teams are indefinitely banned from holding formal practices, that players can leave their team’s market and that the league won’t be doing drug tests during this time. No teams can make any roster moves, and the Lakers are having most of their employees work from home.
On Monday, Dave McMenamin of ESPN revealed the latest instructions the team is giving all of the players on the roster:
On the Lakers’ team conference call today to discuss protocol during the coronavirus spread, players were instructed to only work out at either the practice facility or their home gym, for safety reasons, sources told ESPN. And players are expected to check in with the team daily— Dave McMenamin (@mcten) March 16, 2020
Like most of the safety measures the league has taken since suspending the season, these would seem to follow common sense.
It just wouldn’t be logical for players to go work out somewhere other than their home or the practice facility right now, given how contagious we know this illness is. It’s better for them to work to stay in shape at a place where safety measures are being put in place, and thanks to Mike Trudell of Lakers.com, we know that the UCLA Health Training Center is taking extensive steps to ensure that no one gets each other sick:
Workouts are on a 1-on-1 basis with a member of the coaching, developmental or strength staff. All workouts are voluntary. Players are also able to receive treatment from the athletic training staff. To be clear, that’s 1-on-1 for a player and a staff member, not actual 1-on-1 between, say, Quinn Cook and Jared Dudley. Cook may be getting shots up with assistant coach Phil Handy, but will not be playing against another player.
Q: What safety measures are being taken?
A: Of course, the health and safety of the players, staff, families and all of the fans is the top priorities for the Lakers. The organization is strictly following the guidelines set forth by the government officials, the NBA, as well as team doctors, to ensure the players practice safe habits if they choose to workout. This includes washing hands frequently, sanitizing equipment and shooting on separate baskets.
Imagine a player immediately washing his hands after getting his shots up, the assistant coach washing his hands as well, and the ball being sanitized.
Trudell’s entire FAQ on how the Lakers are handling this is worth a read, and as anyone who follows LeBron James on Instagram knows, he’s already taking advantage of the availability:
LeBron hitting the gym with his sons earlier today. pic.twitter.com/iaA3DqsuoF— LeBron Wire (@LeBron_Wire) March 14, 2020
For those of us at home, social distancing appears to be the best move for everyone to make right now. The CDC also has a few preventative measures its recommending to slow the spread of coronavirus, including but not limited to:
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
For more information on the coronavirus, visit cdc.gov/coronavirus.
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