The Los Angeles Lakers reopened their practice facility for the first time in two months on Saturday, but they haven’t been able to practice as a team just yet. Until further notice, the NBA is only allowing up to four players in a gym at one time, and those players aren’t permitted to work together.
Apparently, that hasn’t been sufficient for LeBron James, who, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic, has been holding private workouts with his team at an alternate practice facility:
“It’s been different for every team. For example, LeBron James has held private workouts with 1-2 teammates at a time at a closed-off, private location, on-court, I’m told. All the safety measures have been taken, I’m told. Everyone involved has been tested, everyone involved has practice social distancing. everyone involved has taken the necessary steps to make sure they’re following all of the guidelines.”
The interesting part about this is that, unless things have changed since last month, players weren’t allowed to work out at facilities outside of their teams’ buildings. Granted, we knew that James and Anthony Davis were trying to get their teammates that stayed in Los Angeles access to a private gym, but that was before the NBA sent a memo out to its teams. In other words, Shams may have inadvertently exposed James and the Lakers (or maybe they only did this before that memo).
Beyond that, it’s hard to call what James is doing irresponsible because we have no idea what kind of work they’re doing. I mean, you can probably guess that they’re probably doing some contact work if they’re seeking practice time outside of the time the Lakers allotted to them, but we can’t say that for sure.
Hopefully things continue to progress in California so that professional sports can resume in June, and so James and his Lakers teammates won’t need to sneak around anymore (even if it’s not much of a secret anymore).