After over a month off, the Los Angeles Lakers are finally able to return to practice. However, there are very strict guidelines that they must follow and it is very different than what the players are used to. Starting on May 16, players could go to the facilities but the number of people who can come into the building is limited.
Veteran guard for the Lakers Quinn Cook recently spoke to Tania Ganguli of the Los Angeles Times and gave some insight on what the procedures look like:
The players can work with one assistant coach — Cook worked with Mike Penberthy — and both player and coach must follow strict protocols while inside.
The team isn’t allowing any risks throughout the process:
Cook said he was required to wear a mask once he entered the building, but not while conducting his workout. Penberthy wore a mask and gloves at all times. Cook also worked with strength coach Gunnar Peterson in a slightly altered weight room with the machines spread a little bit farther apart than they normally are.
It remains to be seen how long these guidelines will be in place, but it seems very likely that extra steps will be taken to keep people safe for quite a while. Regardless, Cook is happy to back on the court.
“It just felt good to be back in the facility,” Cook said.
Sports to Return in June?
One thing that has put the Lakers in a peculiar situation is that the state of California has been more cautious with reopening their economy than many other states. Fortunately, the city of Los Angeles made an exception for them so that they could reopen their facilities. Also, governor Gavin Newsom dropped some very positive information on Monday as he stated that sports could be back very soon.
“Pro sports in that first week or so of June without spectators and modifications and very prescriptive conditions also can begin to move forward…if we hold these trend lines in the next number of weeks,” Newsom said.
California Gov. Gavin Newsom says the state could see pro sports return by the first week of June without fans. pic.twitter.com/j4PPg56Yn7
— Arash Markazi (@ArashMarkazi) May 18, 2020
Fans won’t be able to attend for the foreseeable future, but it’s still a step in the right direction. The fact that more and more states opening up for sports could mean that a return for the NBA could be in the relatively near future.
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Cook Has Stayed in Communication With Teammates
It’s been a couple of months since players for the Lakers have been able to share a court together. While new practice guidelines will probably keep them from being able to meet as a full team, for now, that doesn’t mean that they haven’t stayed in contact. In an interview with Jamie Cooper of Dime, Cook revealed what he’s been doing during the hiatus:
Like I said, I have my trainer out here, my coach out here. So we’re still training as if we got to play tomorrow. Obviously, the resources aren’t what they usually are, but we improvise. That’s what we did growing up, we improvised. And for me, staying locked in, I’m always talking to my teammates. We have our group chat popping. I can’t wait to see those guys again.
Fortunately for the team, it appears like they could be getting back together sooner rather than later.