For Lakers fans, the long wait may be coming to an end.
The NBA has been idle since March 11, when it became the first major U.S. sports league to shut down as the COVID-19 outbreak worsened. Two Lakers players tested positive for COVID-19 shortly thereafter.
But on Friday, ace NBA reporter Shams Charania posted a video saying the Lakers would be returning to their practice facility on Saturday, May 16.
That was followed by a similar report from ESPN’s Lakers pro, Ramona Shelbourne.
And confirmation came when the Lakers’ veteran guard Jared Dudley shared details on Twitter.
Dudley also added that “the season will continue in in Orlando and possibly Vegas.” That would support the idea of sequestering all the players in one local for the remainder of the season in order to control their exposure. Internal NBA conversations of such “Bubble” games were reported earlier this month by the New York Times.
The dean of NBA reporters Adrian Wojnarowski reported earlier this week that 22 of the 30 NBA franchises are hoping to open by Monday.
An ESPN story last month broke down what were supposedly the Lakers’ plans for prevention at the facility.
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Players will have strict schedule to follow, with “slotted workout times to prevent overcrowding.” Players will be only be allowed to practice in groups of four, maximum. The area will be cleaned and sterilized between groups.
Anyone who might bump into a Lakers player there will have to wear a mask and gloves. The designated rebounder for each player at the facility will wear gloves and also have their sneakers sterilized, sources told ESPN.
Players will be provided with personal protective equipment, both at home and before entering the facility,
Hand-washing stations will be ubiquitous. Food will be provided in individual containers, rather than via buffet in the lounge.
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