CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - The NBA is currently working on plans to start their season back up and to get the players ready, they started opening up practice facilities around the league on a limited basis last week.
The Charlotte Hornets opened their facility last Tuesday in a much needed and welcome return for this young team as some players really didn’t have anywhere to get up shots during the pandemic.
“At first when this all began, I would just shoot outside,” said Hornets rookie guard Cody Martin. “I would find an outside court that didn’t have the plywood on top of the goal. So I was going park to park to try to figure out how I was going to shoot.”
With not much workout equipment available as well, it was time to go old school to stay in shape.
“I would run around the mall outside,” said Martin. “I would do a lot of footwork and agility things in a parking lot or at home. It’s really just going back to the old days before I got to college or the NBA.”
But now they are allowed back into the practice facility but it is in a limited basis.
Upon arrival, players have their temperature checked and if it is too high, they are sent home. From there, they go straight to the practice gym as they can not stop in the locker room. Only four players can be in the facility at a time with 2 on the practice court and the other 2 either lifting weights or getting treatment. There is no sharing of the basketballs or weights until they have been sanitized. Any support staff that helps the players must wear gloves and masks.
A lot of precautions but no one is complaining about it. Everyone is just happy to be back in the gym.
With the players back, everyone is anxious to find out if the NBA regular season will continue or will they just jump to the playoffs. If the second one occurs, then there is a chance that the Hornets will not be a part of the return to play as they are outside of the top 8 in the Eastern Conference. If they don’t get to play, they will use this time to get back into basketball shape and get ready for next season.
“It’s a little bit weird because you are treating it like it’s off season in the sense of being able to work on things that you need to work on and go ahead and get a head start on those things that you were looking to do throughout the summer,” said Martin. “Right now, I’m just glad we are able to get back and it gives me some hope that we might get back. I’m being optimistic and just hoping that’s the case but at the end of the day, first and foremost is everyone’s health and that’s what we have to take into account.”