It’s been exactly 69 days since the Los Angeles Lakers played their last game, and while no one knows when they’re going to play again — or if they will at all — they’re doing everything they can to stay ready under the circumstances.
In a recent interview with Jamie Cooper of Dime, Lakers guard Quinn Cook talked about how he’s trained during the NBA’s hiatus, and his excitement for the season to resume:
Obviously, having the season on hold must be tremendously disappointing considering how great of a year you and the Lakers were having. What have you been doing to stay ready and stay mentally prepared, if and when the season returns?
Like I said, I have my trainer out here, my coach out here. So we’re still training as if we got to play tomorrow. Obviously, the resources aren’t what they usually are, but we improvise. That’s what we did growing up, we improvised. And for me, staying locked in, I’m always talking to my teammates. We have our group chat popping. I can’t wait to see those guys again.
That interview was conducted before the Lakers reopened their practice facilities on Saturday. Since then, Cook has already been back in the gym, and even though things are different than they were before the season was suspended, Cook told Tania Ganguli of the Los Angeles Times that he’s just glad to have a place to workout again:
The players can work with one assistant coach — Cook worked with Mike Penberthy — and both player and coach must follow strict protocols while inside.
Cook said he was required to wear a mask once he entered the building, but not while conducting his workout. Penberthy wore a mask and gloves at all times. Cook also worked with strength coach Gunnar Peterson in a slightly altered weight room with the machines spread a little bit farther apart than they normally are.
“It just felt good to be back in the facility,” Cook said.
Cook has only appeared in 38 games for the Lakers this season, and averaged 10.8 minutes per game, but it’s important for him to stay ready because the team will be entering uncharted territory together once the season starts back up. If one of the team’s guards doesn’t respond well to sitting out for two months — from a physical or mental standpoint — Cook might have to play more than he did before the season was suspended.
Aside from that, it also just seems like everyone on the Lakers has a hunger to win a title this season, and that involves everyone buying into the championship culture they’ve seemingly built overnight. If the 15th man on the roster is just as prepared as their star players, the Lakers should be in a good position to make a deep postseason run — Cook should know, as he’s been through a few.