A month into the league’s coronavirus-induced suspension, the Lakers are still working hard to keep their team chemistry strong. The group got along famously well during the season, and their camaraderie developed almost instantly, but that is harder to maintain without face-to-face contact and interaction.
Kyle Kuzma noted that the Lakers are still connecting on a daily basis, even if they have to do so remotely. Their group text has remained strong during their time apart.
“Every day, someone puts something funny in it,” Kuzma said. “Who’s the funniest? I mean, everyone has their days. I feel like that’s part of our team. On the basketball court, everyone has their night, and I think, group chat wise, everyone has their days. Some days, Bron’s just going crazy in there, Dudz is going crazy in there, JaVale — it’s a revolving door.”
The Lakers are also using virtual communication to aid in their workouts. Gunnar Peterson, the team director of strength and conditioning, planned to experiment with Zoom calls to get players to work out together. Kuzma confirmed that those workouts were indeed taking place, though he declined to comment on the frequency.
“We’ve had a few. Yeah, we’ve had a few. That’s all I’m going to say ... But it’s a good way to keep in touch and still stay dialed in so you don’t really lose your whole focus of the basketball aspect because we’re able to come on an app, conversate, workout a little bit. It’s cool.”
As Kuzma notes, it can be much easier to work out with other people around, specifically teammates, to keep the motivation high. It also sounds like the workouts are just another way for the Lakers to get together and stay in touch during this time.
The Lakers relied on their bonds with one another to help fuel their basketball success this year, and should the 2019-20 season return, the Lakers would hope to still be a tight-knit team on and off the court. They can’t afford for their chemistry to also go on hiatus.
All quotes transcribed via Spectrum SportsNet. For more Lakers talk, subscribe to the Silver Screen and Roll podcast feed on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher or Google Podcasts. You can follow this author on Twitter at @sabreenajm.