Some Pelicans players have left New Orleans during the NBA’s hiatus, but every member of the team is checking in daily via video chats. In addition to physical exercises, the Pelicans medical team has been virtually working with their players twice per day, providing them with mental exercises and stress relieving exercises.
“We’re trying to be as creative as we can to have constant contact with people and make them understand that we’re still part of the same family, and family matters vitally to this group,” VP of basketball operations David Griffin said today in a conference call (via Andrew Lopez of ESPN.com).
“I think our players are very close individually. I think organizationally, I think if you talk to most of the people in it, they would tell you that ‘family’ is a big focus of what we’ve brought to this, so we’re trying as best we can to connect with as many people on as many different levels as possible.”
Here’s more from the Western Conference:
- LeBron James shouldn’t have issues getting back up to speed if the NBA season resumes, Lakers GM Rob Pelinka said on a conference call with local media. “Everybody knows that LeBron is a pro’s pro and I know that the way he dedicates himself to his profession is unparalleled,” Pelinka said (via Mike Trudell of NBA.com). “I know he’s been committed to leadership, he’s been committed to continuing to inspire his teammates.”
- In the same conference call, the Lakers‘ GM also discussed the late Kobe Bryant‘s induction into the Basketball Hall of Fame. “He was one of the players I think that led the charge of really reaching out to all-time greats to try to collect wisdom and advice from them,” Pelinka said. “I think back to him reaching out to Hakeem Olajuwon to have a footwork workout with him, or the countless conversations with Michael [Jordan] that have been chronicled so well over the past few weeks to Lakers legacy and history with Magic [Johnson]. He was one of the first players, I think, to really, really tap in to getting knowledge from the all-time greats and to be inspired by them.”
- Magic Johnson admits that it will probably be hard for NBA players to play basketball without fans, though the Hall of Famer believes that the league will be alright if it has to go that route, as he said on CNN (H/T Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPN.com). “We’ve all played our whole life on playgrounds and pickup games without fans there… So basketball players will know how to adjust, trust me,” the former Lakers executive said, adding that he is “looking forward” to see if Los Angeles will win the championship.