As we relayed earlier today, the Pelicans have joined the growing list of NBA teams that have reopened their practice facilities.
Addressing that subject on a call with reporters this afternoon, head of basketball operations David Griffin said that only seven of the club’s players are still in the area and will use the facility — the rest of the Pelicans are finding other ways to work out (Twitter link via Andrew Lopez of ESPN).
Griffin added that he’s not asking players who are out of market to travel back to New Orleans at this time, since he would rather wait until it’s safer and more necessary, according to Lopez.
Here’s more on the Pelicans:
- Alvin Gentry, 65, falls in an age bracket at risk of being seriously affected by COVID-19. However, the Pelicans’ head coach tells Marc Stein of The New York Times (Twitter links) that that increased vulnerability will “not stop me from doing my job one bit” when play resumes. “I’m going to approach it with caution,” Gentry said. “But I will be immersed in it totally from a competitive standpoint and everything else.”
- Speaking today to reporters, Griffin admitted he’d embrace the idea of starting the NBA season later, since it would help the Pelicans gain more of a foothold in their market (Twitter link via Lopez). The NFL’s Saints are New Orleans’ most popular professional sports team, so reducing the NBA’s overlap with the football season could be good news for the Pels.
- Even before the Pelicans reopened their facility today for individual workouts, a couple of players had been permitted in the building for rehab purposes. According to Griffin, Zion Williamson and Kenrich Williams were getting regular treatment there over the last several weeks (Twitter links via William Guillory of The Athletic). Williams, sidelined since January 6 due to a back injury, will be ready to practice in full when teams reconvene, says Griffin.
- Guillory and Sam Vecenie of The Athletic examine what the Pelicans got right – and wrong – in the 2019 draft, which saw the team select three players besides Williamson.