NBA’s short offseason, quick restart concern health officials around league

NBA health officials have expressed concern about how players will be treated with a training camp starting on January 1. December, in less than a month, can be prepared for a possible regular season of 72 games – especially for teams that have not played since March and the two conference champions.

It will be particularly difficult not only to focus on the game on December 22 or anything else, but also to support it for four to five months, said a head coach of the Western Conference track and field team, which, like others, has played anonymously.

It will be another period of unknown territory. No matter how unexplored [Orlando] bubble is [this summer], it is a bubble that is multiplied by three, four, or five [because we] try to extend it to this period with minimal magnification.

According to the Elias Sports Office, the competition was in a very difficult situation from the end of the last round in mid-October until the resumption on the 22nd. December was a 71-day off-season, the shortest in the history of the NBA, NFL, NHL or MLB.

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According to these medical officials, the attempts to launch the league in December are an obstacle, especially because the list of matches is longer than the list of teams that have played in the bubble. And while acknowledging the financial and graphic reality in the attempt to launch next season, the health authorities emphasize that travel does not have to be considered a factor in health and fitness to complete the 2019-20 season.

I would be more worried about traveling because we saw in the bubble that it was not the trip that really helped the guys recover, said an official who is closely involved in the health of the player. So I don’t know if it really is the number of races (72), but only the fact that you come until 2 a.m. and now travel is an even bigger problem.

The referees of the league are confident that the reduced number of matches and the movement corrections will help the teams. Although these adjustments are not yet complete, they are more about cases where teams play twice with the same opponent in the same city, and cases where teams play more matches with teams from neighboring markets. (For example, more teams coming to Los Angeles will play the Lakers and Clippers on the same trip) Another example that can reduce the number of trips is limiting road travel with a game.

League officials also noted that the shorter off-season period is typical of years in which the Olympic Games or other off-season international events take place, i.e. the conditions to which the players are now exposed are not unusual in their view.

As for the circumstances, several health workers said they hope the teams will get back into shape during the three-week construction phase, especially if they follow the same drawings as if they had the same schedule for the Orlando bubble. However, they also noted that they need to create a stronger basis of conditioning and strength to maintain the game 72, in particular to prevent soft tissue injuries normally suffered by unconditioned players, such as hamstring sprains. It has been noted that more players stay in shape during the off-season, and they did so last month when the talks were built on the resumption of talks in December.

Fault! The file name is not specified. A delay of 71 days between the end of the final and the start of the NBA’s regular season will complicate the situation for Heath and the Lakers, but medical experts throughout the league are concerned about the eight teams that failed to reach the bubble. Andrew D. Amber/NBAE/Getty Pictures

At the end of October, the NBA informed the teams that they could open their facilities for off-season group training and the firing of up to 10 players, provided they are tested daily on KOVID-19, a measure that several health officials said would be useful. However, since all eight teams – Chicago, Atlanta, Golden State, New York, Minnesota, Charlotte, Cleveland and Detroit – didn’t play in the bubble, they didn’t know if this deadline could be met.

They have not competed since March, said a veteran, the head coach of the Eastern Conference team. How will they react?

An official who looks after the health of the players said that I’m more worried about the teams that haven’t played for more than eight months, frankly, than the other 22 teams.

As noted by a staff member of the Eastern Conference Sport Training Department, during the typical off-season, after Labor Day in early September, the players return to the team’s training field to work for about a month before training camp.

This period has now been halved and the official sports preparations for the Eastern Conference are continuing.

The same official, along with others, gave the opinion of the teams that have not played since March.

You have to take into account the super-exclusive effort, the top speed, the sharp, multi-directional movement and the high sporting conditions that only a game can offer you, said the official. If you look at the teams that were lucky enough to go to Orlando, you realize that they received this bonus 120 days ago. For the two finalists it was a turnaround that was fast enough to fully recover. But for someone it’s much more important that he hasn’t had that motivation since March.

Several officials also said that they thought the two teams that just played the final could take a break with their stars and other players at the start of the game and watch the first month of the game as a kind of extensive, pre-season training camp. The Lakers and the Miami Heath will be the only teams to take a 71-day break in the season, while the traditional preseason, which began in 1983-84, will take 141 days for the final franchise.

I don’t expect all the Lakers to play in the first month of the season [and come out], said the second official, who is looking for the health of the players.

The problem is that the season has been shortened, so the games play a role, said the first official dealing with player health.

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On Friday, Lebron James responded to the NBA’s potential to start the 2020-21 season at the end of December by releasing the statistics from the Elias Sports Bureau on his Instagram. Among those statistics, the star of Los Angeles Lakers, who led the team to 17th place last month, was ranked 17th. At the top of the head, a smiling face of a man with his head in his hands, a sign of his displeasure.

Player workload management was also cited as a likely option for other teams that have played deep playoffs in the Orlando bubble, although a complicating factor is the NBA guidelines on how teams can let players rest, depending on whether the game will be broadcast on national television, for example.

The league officials acknowledge that the teams are in different situations with regard to the length of their off-season, but nevertheless believe that the players will have sufficient time before the training camp to adequately prepare for the season – provided the field has been open for a few weeks and during the usual three weeks of the training camp.

According to the officials, a number of strangers could influence the preparations for the season. Will there be fans at the games? What are the health protocols? How are the different stages prepared? In particular, many of these logistical arrangements are being negotiated and are expected to be completed by Thanksgiving or earlier, many officials said.

Team leaders and ligament officials recognize that the coronavirus pandemic remains the league’s biggest challenge, regardless of logistical planning hurdles, and their comments come as America continues to set daily records for new cases.

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