O Lakers contacted the Los Angeles Mayor's office to discuss the possibility of opening their facilities to players before the current Los Angeles home shelter application expires on May 15, sources close to the matter told ESPN.
The NBA announced Monday that it will allow players to return to the team's facilities for voluntary exercise starting May 8. The Lakers, the sources said, organized a conference call on Monday with their players to detail what the security measures will be when it comes time for their doors. to open – be it May 15th or earlier.
Lakers vice president of basketball operations and general manager Rob Pelinka and coach Frank Vogel conducted the conference call, providing a basic outline of the protocol that players will have to follow as soon as the team is given the green light to host exercises at the Center UCLA Health Training Program in El Segundo.
The Lakers have not made recommendations to any of the few players who are out of town about when to return to Los Angeles, sources said.
When the exercises begin, they will be volunteers. However, a source on the call said the players seemed "eager" to take the first step back since the NBA went on hiatus on March 11 and two Lakers players tested positive for COVID-19 soon after.
Some of the precautionary measures planned by the Lakers include players who take their temperatures while in their cars when they arrive at the facility and answer questions to a designated medical professional before gaining access to the building.
Currently, the Lakers' plan does not require further testing for coronaviruses organized by the team for players, sources told ESPN.
In an April 17 conference call with reporters, NBA commissioner Adam Silver said health workers on the front lines should be "attended to before we start talking about NBA players or sports" by implementing large-scale testing.
Anyone Lakers players encounter at the training facility will need to wear a mask and gloves, and the rebound assigned to each player will use gloves and sterile sneakers, sources said.
The approach, the sources said, is to err on the side of caution, even if it seems that the rigid circumstances exaggerate a little.
The team will provide players with personal protective equipment and, if a player leaves his mask at home, one will be provided on arrival at the parking lot.
Hand washing stations will be installed. The weight room will be reorganized to allow more space between the equipment. The food service in the players' lounge will be renewed to provide meals in individual containers, not through a buffet presentation.
A priority in planning for the Lakers will be the implementation of a strict schedule for players to follow, with short training times to avoid overcrowding. Players will be scheduled in groups of up to four – each with their own half court – for 90-minute training periods, with ample time between cleaning and sterilization sessions.
The Lakers requested feedback from players to fill the schedule, sources said and to determine how many days a week players would like to have access to the court.
The exercises will be directed to individualized work and skill conditioning, with no contact involved.
Lisa Estrada, Lakers' vice president of operations, will take on the role of facility hygiene officer – a mandatory role that the league is asking all 30 teams to designate a senior executive – and will be tasked with managing cleaning teams to rub the training areas before and after the players.
The Lakers' plan for sterilization procedures and best safety practices is the result of a group effort by several team executives over the past few weeks, involving sharing information with other teams, consulting doctors through their sponsor relationship with UCLA Health and even monitoring baseball being played in South Korea, sources said.
The Lakers are considering taking a dry step from each step a player would go through when reporting to the facility and undergoing training and recording to provide video instructions that can be distributed to the team, sources said.
Starting individual exercises is only the first step, of course. In addition to the obvious health concerns arising from the coronavirus, there is also the great challenge of determining the rate at which players should increase activity, with no date set for when games can be resumed to end the 2019-20 campaign.