The NBA has plans to resume its season on July 31 at Disney’s ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Orlando, and those plans are expected to be approved by the league’s Board of Governors on Thursday, according to a report from Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.
Once the proposal is ratified, the expectation is that the 22 teams that will be making the trip to Orlando will have training camps in their respective cities some time between now and the start of the season. Before that can happen, though, those teams will have to get approval from their local government officials to resume activity, and the Los Angeles Lakers began that process on Friday.
According to a report from Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times, the Lakers were among the Los Angeles teams and venues that teamed up with Wasserman Media Group chairman Casey Wasserman to write a letter to their county supervisors, detailing how they plan on resuming their respective seasons safely:
In seeking to expedite the process, Wasserman submitted a 26-page blueprint to county supervisors with minimum standards teams had agreed to follow in such areas as monitoring the health of athletes and staff, observing social distancing off the field, and keeping facilities sanitary. By the end of the day, he said, each team in town planned to provide a more detailed plan to county public health officials, specific to its respective sport and venue.
“This reopening will put us on a path to putting tens of thousands of County residents back to work and restoring dignity and normalcy to countless lives and livelihoods,” Wasserman said in a letter to supervisors. “Greater still, these plans provide the scaffolding to begin to restore the communal and rehabilitative joy generated by the crack of a bat, a sprinting score, and the magic of live music.”
The Lakers have already been granted special permission from their local government to re-open their practice facility, but their workouts have been limited to one-on-one skills training, with no more than four players in the facility at a time. This next step would theoretically allow the Lakers and other teams to operate as they do during the season, just with new health and safety guidelines in place.
It seems likely that the state will work with the Lakers, considering the city reportedly offered to host the NBA at Staples Center, and if they do, it will be another big step in the teams progression towards returning to the form they were in before the season was suspended. It could also expedite the return of baseball. Imagine the Lakers and Dodgers winning a championship in the same month? — and then Anthony Davis and Mookie Betts re-signing the following month?
Sign me up.