It’s been just over a month since the NBA suspended its season due to the threat of COVID-19, or the coronavirus. The league mandated that every team had to close down its training facility soon after that, forcing members of the Los Angeles Lakers to try interesting methods in order to stay in shape as best they can.
LeBron James is among the luckier ones, as he already has a court he can use, his own trainer, and tons of equipment, but not everyone on the team is so fortunate and prepared for a situation like this. JaVale McGee said he’s been running around an empty park near his house. Initially, Danny Green was forced into DIY methods like lifting paint cans while searching for home gym equipment. Alex Caruso is using a mixture of jumping rope, resistance bands, push ups, sit ups and other at-home options.
To deal with all of that inconsistency, team trainer Gunnar Peterson has been hosting Zoom videoconference workouts for players, something Kyle Kuzma says he’s utilized to help him stay in the best shape possible. During a video chat for CloseUp360 to raise awareness about best practices to deal with the coronavirus, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope also revealed he’s taking advantage of those Zooms, as well as his own alternative methods to try and stay ready for if the NBA comes back:
“We got a little Zoom action with our trainers. We video chat some days and they give us workouts through video chats. I got my Peloton bike, so I’m riding the bike most of the time, which is good, it’s pretty good.”
It’s obviously great that all of these players are finding ways to stay active during this, as — championship chase and the possibility of the season resuming aside — workouts are good for all of our mental health as much as anything during this anxious and stressful time. Still, these methods are far from enough to keep players in NBA shape (which, to their credit, the players know and have mostly acknowledged). They’re better than nothing, but the situation is still not ideal.
As a result of the majority of the league dealing with the same limitations, NBA trainers are reportedly concerned about a rash of injuries if the league tries to just jump right back in to resuming the season, and Lakers forward Jared Dudley has been among those advocating for the necessity of a weeks-long ramping up period before things resume. Both of those factions are correct, as evidenced by how the players above are revealing they’re trying to stay in NBA shape (which can only really be done through playing NBA games).
Will it be possible for players and teams to get that type of time before any resumed season starts back up? Only time will tell, but answers on how players are staying in shape similar to Caldwell-Pope’s above reveal why it will be important that the league take such precautions.
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