OKC Thunder: NBA imposes practice facilities closure, further travel restrictions

Danilo Gallinari of the OKC Thunder celebrates Gallinari's fourth quarter three point basket. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Danilo Gallinari of the OKC Thunder celebrates Gallinari's fourth quarter three point basket. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images) /

Given the anticipated extended suspension of live games, the NBA announced all team facilities (including the OKC Thunder) will be shut down until further notice.

It’s been an odd eight days since the OKC Thunder and Utah Jazz walked off the court following the game postponement. The next announcement came minutes later as the league suspended the season. Every article traces back to the Thunder – Jazz as the starting point.

Initially, it was anticipated the suspension would last for 30-days. However, as awareness and information became more readily available that date shifted. Instead of a mid to late April return new projections hopefully point to a mid to late June return. And even that date isn’t definitive.

Similarly, the league had to adjust other timelines, dates, restrictions and how teams will navigate this process. At first, the thinking was players could continue to utilize training facilities for workouts and could have a single coach on-site with them. The one caveat was the player (and presumably coach) would need to be tested for fever prior to entry.

With the suspension now expected to be much longer the league has decided to shut down training facilities. Cue the en masse arrival of workout equipment to players condos and homes who don’t already have some sort of gym facilities in place.

As for getting up shots that might be a bit more difficult unless the player has a home court. This because players can’t work out at team or non-team facilities as per Tim Bontemps ESPN article.

"Now, though, players are both not allowed to use team facilities nor, as laid out in a memo sent out by the league Sunday night, work out at any non-team practice or training facilities — essentially leaving players no choice but to attempt to work out at home as they, and the league, try to figure out what the next steps will be."

To be honest, the first thought that crossed my mind was who was going to clean the equipment, basketballs, barbells, and athletic bands after each workout since an asymptomatic player could transfer the virus and not even know they had it.

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Nor can teammates or groups workout together as the league has requested players remain solely isolated leaving their home only for essential needs (groceries for example).

That means the OKC Thunder trio of Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Darius Bazley, and Chris Paul who hangs out (as evidenced in their Tik Tok video) won’t be able to work out or practice together. Although odds are CP3 may have already returned to his LA home to be with his wife and children.

Although players can travel within their market as per previous memos the league would prefer players remain in the city. For international players or in the case of the Raptors if American born players hadn’t already returned to their homes they’ll be in Toronto for the duration. This because cross border travel has ceased other than essential travel (read: trade and goods).

For players from warm States, that could prove to be a huge advantage since erecting a hoop outside to shoot is far easier in Florida, Texas, Los Angeles and (yes) Oklahoma City for example than in colder climates like Chicago, New York, Toronto, and Milwaukee.

Oklahoma City temperatures high ranges from 62 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit (75 degrees today) between March and May. Conversely, Milwaukee temperature highs ranges (41 degrees today) from 42 to 65 degrees Fahrenheit between March and May.

Clearly, the most important factor will be staying healthy and safe and these minor benefits aren’t the focus.

Still, you have to wonder what kind of shape players (like Nikola Jokic for example) will show up with once the season returns if the League can still get back on the hardwood for the projected mid to late June projection.

As always stay safe and healthy and make sure to check in frequently with Thunderous Intentions.

Next. NBA 2020 Mock Draft 1.0 – Options abound for Thunder. dark

For more information on the coronavirus please note the following sites:

Oklahoma State Department Help Center: 877-215-8336.
Oklahoma State – dedicated coronavirus site: click this link
The World Health Organizationclick this link 
Centers for Disease Control and Preventionclick this link