Lakers News: Frank Vogel, Players on LeBron James' Leadership, Team's Readiness

Jake RillSenior Analyst IIIJuly 12, 2020

ORLANDO, FL - JULY 11: LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers stretches during practice as part of the NBA Restart 2020 on July 11, 2020 in Orlando, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2020 NBAE (Photo by Bill Baptist/NBAE via Getty Images)
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The Los Angeles Lakers will be on a court in Orlando, Florida, on July 30 for their first of eight seeding games upon the resumption of the 2019-20 NBA season. So there's still some time before they return to competitive play.

On Saturday, the Lakers held their first practice since arriving at the NBA bubble at the ESPN World Wide of Sports Complex at Disney World. And head coach Frank Vogel didn't waste any time getting his players some "live work," although it wasn't too intense.

"Just watching our guys work out last week, we put them through some pretty rigorous one-on-one work, and the guys seemed to be in at least decent shape," Vogel told the media on Saturday (h/t The Lakers Review). "... We want to get their bodies used to that again, so we're going to get right after it."

Of the 22 teams participating in the NBA season restart, the Lakers will be one of the first ones back on the court. They are scheduled to take on the Los Angeles Clippers in a marquee Western Conference showdown on the first day of seeding games.

Before then, the Lakers will play their three scrimmages, set for July 23 (vs. Dallas Mavericks), July 25 (vs. Orlando Magic) and July 27 (vs. Washington Wizards).

Vogel told the media that since the NBA season was suspended in mid-March, players had done plenty of "no-contact work." But although Los Angeles players weren't together, LeBron James apparently kept his teammates motivated and in communication.

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"'Bron sent a text after two weeks or so when we all hadn't been together: 'Miss you guys.' Just something uplifting like, 'Can't wait to get back on the floor with you guys, finish what we started,'" Los Angeles point guard Quinn Cook said, according to Mike Trudell of the team's website.

The Lakers have a five-and-a-half-game lead over the Clippers for the No. 1 spot in the Western Conference. And with there only being eight seeding games for each team, it's unlikely that the Lakers fall from the top seed.

After missing the playoffs last season (James' first with the team), Los Angeles are one of the favorites to win the NBA title this year. It will be the Lakers' first playoff appearance since 2013, and they will be looking to win their first championship since 2010.

It appears that the players don't plan on leaving Orlando anytime soon.

"I packed like I'm moving into a new apartment or something," center JaVale McGee said, according to The Athletic's Bill Oram. "I brought my bike. I brought my gaming setup. What else did I bring? I mean, I brought a lot of stuff that I wouldn't bring if it was just a regular road trip, obviously. I had like 10 bags."

The Lakers seem ready to try to accomplish the goal they will have set when this unorthodox season began in October: win a championship.

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