CJ McCollum questions if re-opening team facilities is really worth it

Peter Socotch
NBC Sports Northwest

The world is trying to establish a new normal amid the COVID-19 pandemic as states begin to re-open, establish new guidelines and health policies - and that includes the NBA. 

On Wednesday, NBCSNW reported the Trail Blazers practice facility will re-open to players Friday with safety measures in place. 

Here are the restrictions:

  • Individual workouts only. No actual practices.

  • No more than four players at the facility at one time. And not more than one player per basket.

  • Players must wear face masks at all times, except when engaged in physical activity.

  • Staffers working with players must wear gloves.

  • Physical distancing of at least 12 feet.

  • Each team must assign one senior executive to the position of "Facility Hygiene Officer."

In addition, a league memo lays out the following guidelines:

Each team making its facility available for use by the team's players may designate up to a total of six assistant coaches or player development personnel who are permitted to provide individual in-person supervision of a player's individual on-court workout, if requested by the player (i.e., "one player, one coach"). As with players, no more than four assistant coaches or player development personnel may be in a team facility at one time. It remains the case that head coaches may not participate in or observe such individual workouts (whether in close proximity or from a distance). Within two days of the first player workout or treatment at a team's reopened facility, the team must submit the names of these six coaches [permitted to be at the facility]."

It is the first time they will be allowed there since the NBA directed all teams' practice areas closed to players in mid-March. The Trail Blazers, along with the Denver Nuggets and Cleveland Cavaliers, are allowing players into their facilities as local governments have eased the stay-at-home orders.

Now, this is not considered a sign that the league is any closer to resuming play, but a chance for players to keep up on their craft. 

On Thursday, Yahoo! Sports' Chris Haynes spoke with CJ McCollum, who said he remains "worried like the rest of the world" about the COVID-19 pandemic and is "uneasy about working out at the team facility."

"I like that it is optional and I'm pleased with the caution, structure and measures the Blazers organization has put in place to ensure the safest environment possible for all parties involved," McCollum told Yahoo Sports regarding the re-opening of the practice facility. "I get the measures [the league is] taking, but you have to think at some point when there are drastic measures that need to be taken, ‘Is it really worth it?' It's either safe or it's not."

Along with his basketball duties, McCollum serves as a vice president of the National Basketball Players Association, and told Haynes that he plans on evaluating just how valuable and worthwhile it is to have the practice facility open given all the restrictions. 

"The issue is you can go to your practice facility, but there's all these stipulations," McCollum told Yahoo Sports. "You can use certain stuff, can't do certain stuff."

Will the reward ultimately be worth the risk? We'll soon see.

CJ McCollum questions if re-opening team facilities is really worth it originally appeared on NBC Sports Northwest

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