Starting Friday, a handful of teams, including the Cleveland Cavaliers, Denver Nuggets, Portland Trail Blazers and Houston Rockets, will re-open with their practice facilities with the permission of their state’s government and the NBA, according to a report by Marc Stein of the New York Times on Wednesday.
The Los Angeles Lakers also have hopes of re-opening their practice facility — the UCLA Health Training Center in El Segundo — this month, but they’re going to have to wait at least another week, according to a report from Shams Charania of The Athletic:
Lakers are hopeful to open facility then — and will continue working with the appropriate government and health officials to ensure safety for players and staff during the fluid coronavirus situation. https://t.co/0xw2sblPKy— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) May 7, 2020
NBA practice facilities have been closed since March 19, the same day California Governor Gavin Newsom issued the state’s stay at home order. The stay at home order was supposed to be lifted on April 19, but once the threat of COVID-19, or the coronavirus, grew in the state, the order was extended to May 15.
If the order isn’t extended again before May 15, it sounds like the Lakers are optimistic that they’ll be included in Newsom’s second phase of re-opening the state. The Lakers and the other NBA teams based in California — the Sacramento Kings, Golden State Warriors and Clippers — have been contact with city and state government officials over the last few weeks about re-opening their practice facilities.
However, while the Lakers are hopeful they’ll be able to re-open their practice facility, they understand that this decision will be made with the public’s healthy and safety in mind:
In conference call today, Frank Vogel said, “It’s not really anything we can control. When it’s safe and appropriate for us to get back in our building we’ll do so at that time.” https://t.co/K3Vz7qfd4D— Bill Oram (@billoram) May 7, 2020
It should also be noted that the re-opening of practice facilities across the United States isn’t a sign that the NBA is going to resume play. Rather, it’s a sign of how far we’ve come over the past two months, and how much work there is still to be done before the league can restart its season.