Report: NBA Players 'Secretly' Practicing at Closed Gyms amid COVID-19

Blake SchusterCorrespondent IIIMay 1, 2020

NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 12: An NBA logo is shown at the 5th Avenue NBA store on March 12, 2020 in New York City. The National Basketball Association said they would suspend all games after player Rudy Gobert of the Utah Jazz reportedly tested positive for the Coronavirus (COVID-19). (Photo by Jeenah Moon/Getty Images)
Jeenah Moon/Getty Images

Some NBA stars may be skirting league rules and local government orders in order to get some shots up. 

With players unable to workout at team facilities, a number on unnamed pros have found ways into private gyms to stay in shape, per Sam Amick and Joe Vardon at The Athletic:

"As of now, no player is allowed into his team's facility or some other gym to work out. Development staffers are not supposed to be working with the players. If a player has a private gym at home, great. Many have said they do not. Others, according to multiple sources, are practicing secretly on their own at gyms that are supposed to be closed."

The NBA is set to allow small groups of personnel to return for team activities around May 8.

Even then, some players and teams will be at a disadvantage. As hotspots of the coronavirus pandemic continue to require more intense social distancing measures, NBA teams are at the mercy of local governments and agencies when it comes to reopening facilities, meaning some players will get a head start on preparing for a return to play. 

Arizona, Colorado, Georgia, Indiana, Minnesota, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas and Utah are among the states home to NBA teams that will see their stay-at-home orders either lifted or revised by or on the NBA's May 8 start date for team activities, according to The Athletic. 

Georgia Governor Brian Kemp has already allowed the Atlanta Hawks to return to their gyms; however, the team is taking a wait-and-see approach before bringing its employees back to work at its facilities. 

Still, contending teams like the Los Angeles Lakers, Los Angeles Clippers, Milwaukee Bucks, Miami Heat and the Toronto Raptors are awaiting more clearance from officials before they decide to reopen for practices. 

That's led to some players doing whatever they can to find access to workout equipment—even going so far as to use gyms that are otherwise closed to the public. 

While that may seem like a competitive imbalance, the league has yet to determine a timeline to restart the season as it discusses numerous contingency plans for completing the 2019-20 schedule.

The NBA's solution for training thus far has come in the form of a 19-page memo in which it notes the league will be contacting general managers of teams still barred from practicing after May 8 to make "alternative arrangements."