Thursday 28 May, 2020

Coronavirus: Lakers staying connected via virtual workouts

Los Angeles Lakers vice-president of basketball operations and general manager Rob Pelinka.

Los Angeles Lakers vice-president of basketball operations and general manager Rob Pelinka.

Los Angeles Lakers vice-president of basketball operations and general manager Rob Pelinka said the team is staying connected and fit via virtual workouts amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The NBA, like many sports around the world, has been postponed due to COVID-19, which has killed more than 88,200 people globally, with over 1,508,500 confirmed cases.

It remains to be seen when and if the 2019-20 NBA season – which was suspended last month – will resume amid the coronavirus crisis.

NBA commissioner Adam Silver said the league will not be able to make any decisions regarding the season until at least May.

In the meantime, LeBron James and the Lakers – who were top of the Western Conference prior to the postponement – remain close while social distancing.

"For the guys, we work hard with our strength and conditioning staff to make sure they have fitness bundles delivered to them where we can do Zoom workouts," Pelinka told reporters on a conference call on Wednesday.

"This is a team that just loved being together whether it was on the bench, on the bus, in the locker room. These guys just have a great chemistry of being together.

"So they've tried to stay as connected as possible in the ways they can, working out together virtually."

Pelinka added: "I think all of us right now have to live with hope, and we have to live with faith and trust and courage and those attributes because it's a really, really hard and dark time for the world.

"And so I'm going to choose to fix most of my thoughts on that we will have a chance to finish the season. I think that would be a great thing for us.

"But we also know that this situation is so much bigger than basketball. The reason I have that hope is not for personal accomplishment. Just, it's more that I think it could be the best thing for the world, going back to that Nelson Mandela quote: I think sports can really be powerful."

Only the NBA-leading Milwaukee Bucks (53-12) had a better record than the Lakers (49-14) at the time of the league shutting down on March 11 and Pelinka said: "It's almost like I look at our season like a series of tests and we got a lot of As. And we got some A-pluses and some A-minuses. And I think there has been a lot of success in that.

"We haven't had the chance to take a final exam yet. But that doesn't mean we're not going to celebrate the As that we've gotten so far."

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