Last week, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN reported that, beginning May 1, some teams would be permitted to re-open their practice facilities for individual workouts. The news came shortly after Georgia Governor Brian Kemp announced that gyms and other businesses that had been deemed non-essential in Georgia were going to re-open within the week, so, in theory, the Atlanta Hawks would be able to practice at their local gym and — if granted permission by the league — their team practice facility.
While there’s been no indication that the state plans to go back on its plans to re-open this week, the NBA no longer plans to make select team facilities available on May 1, according to a report by Shams Charania of The Athletic.
The NBA has informed its franchises that it is targeting no earlier than May 8 for any use of team's practice facility, sources tell @TheAthletic @Stadium. The NBA will continue to monitor coronavirus pandemic with its timings.— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) April 27, 2020
Sources: If an NBA team facility’s city is no longer subject to stay-at-home order, it may make facility open potentially starting May 8:— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) April 27, 2020
- Individual workouts; no more than four players permitted at facility at one time
- Max of one team staffer in person
Even if the date wasn’t pushed back, the Hawks reportedly planned on keeping the doors to their practice facility closed for a little while longer:
Hawks President of Basketball Operations/GM Travis Schlenk tells ESPN that Hawks won’t be opening team facility to players Friday. “We are going to wait and see what happens in the state over the couple of weeks,” Schlenk tells ESPN. Georgia relaxed stay-at-home policies.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) April 27, 2020
Ultimately, that doesn’t change much for the Los Angeles Lakers, who are in a state with some of the country’s strictest stay-at-home orders. In California, the stay-at-home order won’t be lifted until at least May 15.
What will temporarily hurt the Lakers, though, is the NBA’s decision to prohibit players from working out at facilities outside of their respective teams’ facility:
Teams were also informed today that players are not allowed to use any practice/training facility for workouts other than his NBA team. https://t.co/AKaXnfmJoe— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) April 27, 2020
Does that mean players with full-sized courts in their houses won’t be able to use them anymore? That’s doubtful. The people this applies to are the players that have recently been granted access to a private facility like Danny Green. According to Green, LeBron James and Anthony Davis were trying to make sure everyone had a similar gym they could go to.
Additionally, the NBA planned on accommodating players in more restrictive states, according to Wojnarowski’s report from Saturday:
In markets in which more restrictive governance of stay-at-home orders remain in place, the NBA is telling teams the league will work with franchises to help find alternative arrangements for their players, sources said.
Now, Green will have to go back to square one, which, from what we know, involved him laying in his bed and shooting a ball at the ceiling. No, seriously.
There’s no doubt that teams are itching to get back onto the court — especially teams like the Lakers that are expected to contend for the title this season — but the more cautious the league is about its plans to return, the sooner it will be able to resume play. In other words, if the NBA wants to reach the light at the end of the tunnel, it can’t take its foot off the gas just yet.