It’s now been six long weeks since the 2019-20 NBA season was suspended after Utah Jazz star center Rudy Gobert tested positive for COVID-19.
We have absolutely no idea when the season will get going again now that the United States is the epicenter of the global pandemic.
Though, this past weekend might have provided us an indicator. The NBA announced that it will allow teams to open their practice facilities starting May 8 in states that have or will soon ease stay-at-home restrictions.
While California obviously isn’t one of those states, the Los Angeles Lakers are looking to open their practice facility here soon. The Lakers are in contact with local officials to figure out a way for that to happen by May 8, per ESPN’s Dave McMenamin.
“When the workouts begin, they will be voluntary. However, one source present for the conference call said players sounded ‘eager’ to make the first step back since the NBA went on hiatus on March 11 and two Lakers players tested positive for COVID-19 shortly thereafter,” the report read.
Los Angeles’ shelter-at-home order ends May 15. But at this point, it’s logical to believe it will be extended through at least the start of June.
California Governor Gavin Newsom has been at odds with federal authorities when it comes to the timing of opening his state back up. That includes a split with President Donald Trump regrading the start of the 2020 NFL season.
As for the Lakers, they stood at 49-14 and as the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference when the season was suspended. If it were to start up again rather than being canceled, the likelihood is that games would be played at neutral sites without fans in attendance. Las Vegas is one option right now.
NBA teams will need a mini training camp before the season resumes. That will likely include multiple weeks of practice to get players back in shape.