The Los Angeles Lakers reopened their practice facility, the UCLA Health Training Center, on May 16. Since then, players on the team have been able to go in for socially distanced, individual workouts with an assistant coach, with several going in from the first day it opened up.
In a recent Q and A with Bela Kirpalani of UPROXX, Lakers guard Alex Caruso described what those sessions have been like:
The Lakers started having practice sessions again — obviously they look a little different because of social distancing and other safety precautions. What have those sessions been like?
They’ve been good. It’s been pretty minimal as far as the number of bodies in the facility. They try to keep as many people away as they can at a time just so there’s less chance of catching anything, spreading anything, bringing anything in. It’s been one-on-one work with the coach and one-on-one work with the strength coaches and one-on-one work with the training staff, but it’s been good. Everything was going to eventually have a first step, and I think this has been a good first step to kind of getting back to it.
The Lakers are definitely a lot closer to “getting back to it,” especially as of last week, when the NBA and NBPA reached a tentative agreement to finalize a plan to restart the season at Disney World in Orlando. And in addition to their workouts at the facility, Caruso has been working out in private gyms a bit, as have many of his teammates. Driving them the whole way has been Lakers star LeBron James, who has been sending motivational messages telling guys to stay ready in the team’s group chat.
NBA teams heading to Orlando (including the Lakers) will be allowed to reconvene for training camps on June 30, when these individual workouts will be turning into team sessions as this chemistry-laden squad reunites once again. Until then, at least it sounds like the team is doing everything possible to keep its players safe while allowing them to prepare as much as possible for the season to resume.