Kings Plan to Open Practice Facility May 11 for Voluntary, Individual WorkoutsMay 8, 2020
The Sacramento Kings plan to open their practice facility Monday, May 11, for players to voluntarily work out on a strictly individual basis, per Lina Washington of Sacramento ABC10.
The workouts will be "under stringent guidelines in accordance with the updated Sacramento County Public Health Order," per Washington.
The NBA season has been suspended since Wednesday, March 11, after Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert tested positive for COVID-19. The pandemic has forced the league's ongoing delay for two months, with practice facilities also shut down to players leaguewide.
But some practice facilities will open as soon as Friday, and Washington mentioned the Denver Nuggets, Portland Trail Blazers and Cleveland Cavaliers as teams who will head back to the courts.
However, the NBA has sent strict guidelines in regards to who can be at workouts and when, as well as restrictions on practice activities.
Of note, no more than four players can be at the facility at the same time, and players cannot shoot at the same basket. Everyone must wear a mask when they are not engaging in physical activity, and head coaches are not allowed to observe workouts.
Temperature checks will also be conducted for anyone who walks into NBA facilities.
As Tim Reynolds of the Associated Press noted, facilities can only open in states where it is permissible. For example, the New York Knicks and Brooklyn Nets cannot return to the court Friday with non-essential businesses still shut down in the state.
The same goes for Massachusetts, Illinois and Wisconsin, among others.
News on the NBA's return this season has vacillated between pessimistic takes and optimistic outlooks since the campaign was initially suspended.
Denver Nuggets center Mason Plumlee is in the sunny-side-up camp, saying the following to Mike Singer of the Denver Post: "People are very optimistic that we'll start the season again. There have been a lot of proposals thrown around. ... From the union meetings, I've learned that there are developing plans and strategies to bring the season back."
However, ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski said April 30 that the NBA won't return until the American public has access to mass testing, which is not the case at the moment.
Regardless, players going back to facilities (even on a limited basis) seems like a positive step forward despite the looming obstacles that lie ahead between now and a safe return to play.