The NBA has allowed training and practice facilities to reopen but for use of individual workouts only, which appeared to contradict with the reports that LeBron James and some of his Lakers teammates have been doing group workouts. This came out as the lockdown in California remains largely in effect and team practices are prohibited.
The private workouts spearheaded by James involved select members of the Lakers roster and the sessions were held at a secure location. The group, when practicing, followed strict lockdown measures.
CBS Sports said, picking up on the report by Shams Charania of The Athletic, James and company opted to practice in private to prepare for the perceived resumption of the suspended season. Should the NBA follow through with an advertised plan, it is believed that team practices will be permitted by the middle of June, and games will be played again on July 15.
However, it appeared that James cannot wait for the official green light from league officials, which explain the unsanctioned workouts with some of his teammates.
Nonetheless, Charania reported that safety was if prime concern during these private sessions.
"Everyone involved has been tested, everyone involved has practiced social distancing. everyone involved has taken the necessary steps to ensure that they're following all the guidelines," the journalist was reported as saying.
He added that secret practices are not exclusive to Lakers as the Clippers were believed to have staged the same to shape up once the league gets the season restarted.
It should be noted that two LA clubs are top contenders before the season was suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic so they are understandably eager to keep in top form as the situation permits. It came as no surprise that the top Lakers and Clippers stars will find ways to stay competitive.
James' efforts, however, clearly violated the lockdown rules set by the California government, per the report from Yahoo Sports.
By holding practices as a group and by using facilities not owned by NBA teams, the private workouts done by James breached the shutdown ordered by league officials and as mandated by state laws. This applies too with the Clippers practice sessions mentioned by Charania, the report noted.
Specifically, the Lakers and Clippers went against the order by the California government to stay at home, which to date remains in effect. There are exceptions for certain individuals to get out and go to work but the rules so far indicated that basketball players were not clustered into essential workers.
It is not yet clear if the revelation will lead to disciplinary actions coming from the NBA or if the authorities will come after the two teams and pursue legal actions. In any case, it is expected that the state's lockdown measures will start easing down in June, thus favoring the plan to restart the NBA season.