Lots of buzz at the beginning of the weekend – at least I think the last couple of days was the weekend but who the heck knows these days – when news got out that NBA teams are going to be able to open their practice facilities a bit later on this week.
It was greeted by many fans with great hosannas and glee and given that glee is in short supply these days there’s nothing wrong with that. We all could use something to feel good about, I suspect, and even the prospect of others having a chance to do something “normal” is good news.
But it’s probably wise to put a tiny dash of cold water on the great excitement because the reality is a fair bit less than the expectation.
This news – and my guy Tim Reynolds of the AP reported yesterday that NBA teams will get more “guidance” from the league this week – should not seen as some precursor to news that games are on the distant horizon.
Games – hell, full practices – are not on any horizon. Not even close. We are weeks and weeks and maybe months from any determination on that front so, please, put that out of your mind.
What it means is simple: It means players can go to the facilities in cities, provinces or states where lock-downs have been lifted or eased but only for individual workouts.
No groups, no full practices, no scrimmages, no three-on-three. Get some shots up, get some drill work in, get some lifting done, maybe get some stretching, maybe some treatment.
That’s it, that’s all.
And only where governments – hopefully after consultation with the public health officials who are smarter about such things than pols by a factor of a billion – will allow it.
It can’t happen now in Toronto, it can’t happen in a lot of other NBA cities and while it’s a nice little tiny baby step, it is only a nice little tiny baby step and should be thought of in those terms.
And I know from fielding questions over the weekend that there some concerns among fans that somehow teams in more “open” cities will have some kind of competitive advantage when – or if – the season can resume because the few players who actually remained in their cities when the league shut can get into team gyms if they also live in cities where governments have opened things up or will in the next two or three days.
I don’t think that’s the case at all. A few shots and a couple of one-on-one workouts in team facilities for whatever few number of players would tick off the necessary boxes isn’t going to make a monstrous difference. And I would imagine if – and it remains a really big IF – the NBA finds a way tor resuming this season, there will be enough time allotted for teams to get work in that it’ll even out any perception of an advantage this easing of regulations will create.
It’s nice to know that a few players who remained in the few cities affected by these factors can return to their workplaces on a one-by-one basis to get some instruction and some work in.
But that’s really about it for now.
It is an ever-evolving, constantly-changing world we live in these days and this small change just seems bigger than it actually is.
What’s that, that the kids say?
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The Stronger Together thing last night got me in all the feels and this was outstanding. The whole show was emotional and important and really, really good but this? This was over the top well done.
All right, we’re going to do the mail a bit different this coming week and you’ll get more details later today on just what we’ve got up our sleeves.
But if you’ve got questions or want to say hello or something like that, email@example.com is the place to do it.
We’re going to keep going here every other day, if that’s working for you? Seems to be fitting pretty well into my life/schedule, such that it is, so we’ll keep plugging along that way.
I should probably stop rolling over in the middle of the night and checking the phone/alarm to see what time it is and how little I’ve slept but ever since I did it and discovered (a) DeMar got traded and (b) Kawhi was leaving it strikes me as something I should probably do.
Last night wasn’t nearly as newsworthy but the 3 a.m. discovery of e-mail from my pal K.C. Johnson wanting to know what I knew about new Chicago Bulls GM Marc Eversley was pretty cool to get.
Evs arrived here from Nike more than a decade ago to work with Bryan Colangelo, it was cool to see him make the journey from here to Washington to Philly and gain more authority and experience in each stop and it’s quite an accomplishment that he’s now got one of 30 jobs on the entire planet as an NBA general manager.
And Canada’s got its first, too, which is quite something as well.
I’ll likely expand on Evs when it gets to be official and we can speak to him but that’s a helluva thing he’s done.
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