Report: Lakers, Clippers, NBA Teams in CA Hoping to Be in 'Stage 2' of Reopening

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistMay 1, 2020

Los Angeles Lakers' LeBron James (23) and Los Angeles Clippers' Kawhi Leonard (2) chase the ball during an NBA basketball game between Los Angeles Lakers and Los Angeles Clippers, Wednesday, Dec. 25, 2019, in Los Angeles. The Clippers won 111-106. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)
Ringo H.W. Chiu/Associated Press

The NBA's four teams in California—the Golden State Warriors, Los Angeles Clippers, Los Angeles Lakers and Sacramento Kings—are reportedly hopeful to get included in Stage 2 of the state's reopening plan in order to begin preparations for the potential resumption of the 2019-20 season. 

Sam Amick and Joe Vardon of The Athletic reported Friday inclusion as one of the lower-risk workplaces could allow those organizations back in their facilities by the third week of May amid the coronavirus pandemic.

California governor Gavin Newsom detailed the Stage 2 guidelines Tuesday on Twitter:

Gavin Newsom @GavinNewsom

STAGE 2: Lower Risk Workplaces Gradually re-opening some lower risk workplaces with adaptations. This will include: - Retail (e.g. curbside pickup) - Manufacturing - Offices (when telework not possible) - More public spaces

The Lakers have been in contact with the Los Angeles mayor's office about possibly returning to their practice facility before the current May 15 "stay at home" order ends in the city, per ESPN's Dave McMenamin.

NBA commissioner Adam Silver hasn't provided a definitive timetable for a return to action or a decision about whether the remainder of the 2019-20 campaign may have to get canceled.

"All I can say is we're still at a point where we don’t have enough information to make a decision," Silver told reporters April 17.

Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban said Thursday on CNN he's "cautiously optimistic" the league will be able to finish the season in a made-for-TV format without fans in attendance:

Arash Markazi @ArashMarkazi

Mark Cuban: "I'm cautiously optimistic we'll be able to finish the (NBA) season for television, I don't expect that we'll have fans." https://t.co/FoZU0Mn4EA

Getting teams back in their facilities would be a major step toward returning, but there would still be an extended preparation period before games resume.

"[M]any team officials said there needs to be at least a month-long period to help players physically acclimate and prepare after the layoff to avoid a potential spate of injuries that could follow, according to interviews with athletic training staffers and general managers across the league," ESPN's Baxter Holmes reported in April.

Pairing that timeline with workouts starting in mid-May would match previous reporting by Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, who noted a mid-to-late June return for games is the "best-case scenario."

The Lakers' LeBron James vouched Thursday for trying to finish the campaign:

LeBron James @KingJames

Saw some reports about execs and agents wanting to cancel season??? That’s absolutely not true. Nobody I know saying anything like that. As soon as it’s safe we would like to finish our season. I’m ready and our team is ready. Nobody should be canceling anything. 👑

Meanwhile, Warriors head coach Steve Kerr said their organization has already been operating in "offseason mode" during the hiatus.