In a conference call today with reporters, LeBron James said he has been training four or five times each day during the shutdown and shooting with his children on his outdoor court, tweets Mark Medina of USA Today. James also addressed the wait for the league to start playing again, saying he understands that the health of safety of everyone involved comes first, but he’s strongly hoping the season can be completed (Twitter link).
“I don’t think I’ll be able to have any closure if we’re not able to finish the season,” he said.
James referred to the pandemic as “a roadblock for all of us” and “a test,” adds Mike Bresnahan of Spectrum Sportsnet (Twitter link). With the Lakers holding the West’s best record, they have extra motivation to resume the season, but James said he hasn’t spoken directly to commissioner Adam Silver about the situation.
“(In a perfect world), it would be with fans in the stands,” James said. “It just makes the game that much better.” (Twitter link).
There’s more Lakers news to pass along:
- General manager Rob Pelinka takes inspiration from Kobe Bryant while dealing with the pandemic and its effects on the team, writes Mirjam Swanson of The Orange County Register. “He would always say that the trials of life are kind of when greatness is forged,” Pelinka said today during a Zoom call with reporters. “If you were on a knight’s journey with him and a huge fire-breathing dragon ended up in the pathway ahead, he would say, ‘OK, this is why this is good right now. We’re going to meet this challenge and here’s how we’re going to get around it and here’s how we’re going to defeat it.’ That was just his nature, that obstacles or hard times would lead somehow to growth, and I think that’s the way I’m going to look at 2020.”
- The Lakers are also using Zoom, a videoconferencing service, to allow their players to work out together even though they can’t be in the same place, according to Dave McMenamin of ESPN. The strength and conditioning staff delivers fitness equipment to the players for workout sessions. “These guys just have a great chemistry of being together,” Pelinka said. “So they’ve tried to stay as connected as possible in the ways they can, working out together virtually.”
- Danny Green said on his recent podcast that players will use “any means necessary … to try and salvage the season,” relays Scott Polacek of Bleacher Report. “Right now we’re fighting,” Green said. “Most guys think that for sure we’re going to have a season, it’s just going to start later than we expected, and just trying to get the next season to be pushed back is not going to be as easy as people think it’s going to be.”