The Lakers have had to get creative during the NBA shutdown in order to stay in shape and stay connected.
The team’s director of strength and conditioning, Gunnar Peterson, has been sending players individualized workouts while they are quarantined, but he wanted to take things a step further to get all the players together. Like everyone else in the world, that meant turning to Zoom.
On Saturday, Kyle Goon of the Orange County Register reported that Peterson was experimenting with Zoom workouts with a few players and hoped to ramp up to the full team.
As many businesses hop on Zoom to conduct virtual meetings, Peterson said he’s done a trial workout session on Zoom with a few players and anticipates he could have the entire team on one class next week.
Shams Charania of Stadium confirmed that report Wednesday, noting that the Lakers were interested in Zoom workouts as a way to “continue to build camaraderie and a championship mindset”.
“The sobering reality … is that everyone is at the mercy of the coronavirus,” our NBA Insider @ShamsCharania says.— Stadium (@Stadium) April 1, 2020
Charania reports on Adam Silver’s call with NBA team presidents today, and a unique way the Lakers and Clippers are using Zoom for workouts. pic.twitter.com/hHn4wCd5zU
As Charania notes, “this is just another way that teams are starting to be unique in terms of maintaining game shape and game conditioning.” This is especially useful for players who are isolating on their own, like the younger Lakers who don’t have families with them in Los Angeles.
JaVale McGee confirmed that the Lakers have indeed begun full-scale workouts with Peterson on Zoom. His Instagram story on Thursday showed seven players in attendance for the team session, including himself, Jared Dudley, Quinn Cook, Alex Caruso, Talen Horton-Tucker, Kostas Antetokounmpo, and Devontae Cacok.
As for the players who were missing, Anthony Davis and LeBron James each have home gyms, and Danny Green was presumably too busy podcasting (or being a guest on someone else’s podcast) to attend.
Even if the NBA’s 2019-20 season doesn’t come back, it makes sense for the players to maintain their physical conditioning as professional athletes. It’s also nice that a team whose chemistry was so palpable on and off the court gets to spend more time together, even during this time.