The NBA continues to try and safely return to normal operations in light of coronavirus, with its most recent positive step being the reopening of some NBA practice facilities. One of those facilities was the one inhabited by the Los Angeles Lakers, with some players returning for individual workouts since the facilities were reopened on May 16th. Another positive step has happened today, and it directly impacts the Los Angeles Lakers. That step came when California governor Gavin Newsom announced the following in reference to the state of California (h/t Christian Rivas and Silver Screen & Roll and Arash Markazi of the L.A. Times)
“Sporting events, pro sports, in that first week or so of June, without spectators, and modifications, and very prescriptive conditions, also can begin to move forward, and a number of other sectors of our economy will open up again if we hold these trend lines in the next number of weeks.”
California Gov. Gavin Newsom says the state could see pro sports return by the first week of June without fans. pic.twitter.com/j4PPg56Yn7
— Arash Markazi (@ArashMarkazi) May 18, 2020
There are a few key points that need to be stated for the NBA fan who thinks this means the Lakers will be lacing up to play in that first week of June:
- This only applies to California, which means the Lakers couldn’t play in any other states that have not allowed for pro sports to return.
- This does not guarantee pro sports WILL return the first week or so in June in California, as coronavirus trends could be negatively impacted causing that date to be pushed back.
- The NBA’s plan to come back will almost assuredly be through its “bubble city” plan, which has already been reported by Adrian Wojnarowski/ESPN to be focused on either Las Vegas or Orlando. This means this news doesn’t have too much impact on the actual return of the NBA.
Although this announcement from Gov. Newsom doesn’t necessarily mean anything to the NBA’s return, it definitely shows the macro-positive effect of the nationwide stay-at-home effort. Any positivity regarding the virus is welcomed by the NBA, who will need a lot of things to go right in regards to confirmed cases/deaths to actually return in Las Vegas or Orlando.