The New Orleans Pelicans are set to re-open their practice facilities, but will be following strict guidelines to keep players and staff safe.
For most players on the New Orleans Pelicans, this is the longest they’ve ever gone without touching a basketball.
That’s all about to change, as the team is set to re-open its practice facility on Monday, just three days after the state eased some of its lockdown restrictions.
With rumors flying about a possible re-start to the season, teams are trying to get ahead by getting players back to practice.
Of course, the New Orleans Pelicans aren’t just going to go back to normal, there will be strict rules in place at the facility and players still won’t be practicing together.
According to NPR:
“The NBA also stipulated that the opening of team practice and training facilities is not a return to pre-coronavirus normalcy, adding that certain social distancing protocols need to be followed. No more than four players are allowed at a facility at one time, and practices and scrimmages are prohibited.
Players continue to be barred from using non-team facilities for training, like public fitness centers or health clubs.”
In addition to maintaining social distancing rules, the New Orleans Pelicans will add some extra layers of protection for players.
Players and staff will have to have their temperature taken and anyone with a temperature above 99 will be barred from entering.
Teams will also have to follow strict guidelines for wiping down door handles and basketballs with disinfectant. Since each player is only allowed one member of training or coaching staff to be present, part of that person’s duty will be to sanitize and sterilize everything the player touches.
These workouts must be voluntary and players who are out of town are encouraged not to return to New Orleans for individual workouts in the facility.
While it is exciting to think of basketball returning, let’s hope the risk is worth it, as staff, practice facility employees and players will be putting themselves in a potentially dangerous situation just for individual workouts.
Disinfected basketballs could be the name of a punk band, but for now it is the new reality for the Pelicans.