The NBA is moving closer and closer to some sort of resolution on restarting the 2019-20 season. Whenever that is determined — and it must be stressed, there no guarantee that we’re getting basketball despite everyone’s best intentions — players and teams will have to get back to training so that they’re in shape and ready to go when games start.
This could be a much longer process, however, for the players who haven’t been able to get shots up in a while. Giannis Antetokounmpo and Jayson Tatum have both expressed that they do not have hoops at home, while Khris Middleton has said he has to go to a neighbor if he wants to shoot around. According to a new report by The Athletic, some players have tried to fix this by circumventing rules put forth by local governments.
As of now, no player is allowed into his team’s facility or some other gym to work out. Development staffers are not supposed to be working with the players. If a player has a private gym at home, great. Many have said they do not. Others, according to multiple sources, are practicing secretly on their own at gyms that are supposed to be closed.
It’s a tough situation for any player to navigate. Beyond the fact that their livelihoods are tied to the ability to play basketball, the league is normally in the midst of the postseason right now, and players are just used to playing competitive basketball at this point in the calendar. Still, this is a risky move by whichever players are going out and getting shots up. Hopefully everyone who has done this stays healthy, doesn’t unknowingly spread COVID-19 to anyone and, of course, can figure out a solution that lets them knock off the rust without violating these various orders if the league does inch toward a real return.