With the NBA reportedly beginning to prepare a league-wide coronavirus testing protocol and teams (including the Los Angeles Lakers) beginning to open up their practice facilities, the league resuming play is beginning to seem more like a matter of “when” than “if.”
As a result, some players are beginning to return home to their team’s markets, with teams soon expected to be able to start asking them to come back. Rajon Rondo is one of those players getting ahead of such a request, and he gave an update on how he’s been trying to stay ready for the rest of the season to Marc J. Spears of The Undefeated:
Rondo recently returned to Los Angeles. He said he has been lifting weights with his teammates via Zoom and doing basketball shooting workouts. He has also started teaching yoga classes.
“I’m teaching some online yoga classes to friends and family only,” he said. “I’m letting everyone critique me on what I can do to become a better instructor.”
Given Rondo’s predilection for the driest of dry humor, I have genuinely no idea if that last part is true, but it is hilarious if so. Imagine Rondo eventually retiring from the NBA and forgoing coaching, executive or media opportunities to just teach yoga. It would be one of the most counter-to-expectations, quintessential Rondo moves of all-time.
But other than (maybe) getting better at yoga instruction, there is another thing that Rondo has been focused on during this stoppage in play — the Lakers’ title pursuit:
Rondo is staying ready. And if the NBA season resumes, he believes the Lakers have the right mixture of talent, leadership and coaching to “get to the promised land.”
“We have a heck of a team and a great opportunity. And you can feel the magnitude of guys wanting to get out there, play and finish what we started. We’re still open in thinking we still do have that opportunity. We are still training like we are coming back to make a run for it.”
This mirrors what Rondo’s fellow Lakers guard, Quinn Cook, said recently about still training “as if we got to play tomorrow,” and given that LeBron James has reportedly been hosting secret workouts with some members of the team, it seems as though Rondo and Cook aren’t the only ones trying to stay as prepared as possible. Nothing can actually do that aside from actually playing in NBA games, but at least the Lakers are trying to get as close as they can. Combined with their incredible team chemistry, maybe that will be enough to allow them to keep rolling when the league returns.