Drive-thru windows are open, but the Trail Blazers practice facility is closed?

Dwight Jaynes
NBC Sports Northwest

The NBA continues to wring its hands over a decision to allow its teams to reopen practice facilities and frankly, I don't get it.

I understand that my pal working at a car dealership repairing transmissions is OK to be at work. The one living down the street working the drive-thru at a fast-food joint is fine. The smiling person checking your groceries at Freddy's, I get it. Your friend on the city's road crew repairing streets? Sure, why not?

But Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum, whose practice facility is just about the most controlled environment outside of an operating room, aren't allowed to go to work?

I'm confused. Stay-at-home rules apply to a lot of people, but in general, the people who can safely work with due precautions are doing it.

The NBA has set up a stringent set of rules for when players return to their practice facilities, but still hasn't given the green light to do so.

Just some of the reported rules:

  • Individual workouts only. No actual practices.

  • No more than four players at the facility at one time.

  • 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." (My goodness, really?)

In addition to these rules, most teams -- and I have heard the Trail Blazers did this when their PF was open -- take the temperatures of everyone as they enter the facility.

Some people seem to think basketball players were simply born with their skills. Of course, they were gifted, but they also have spent thousands of hours in the gym working on their game. And it's a labor of love.

The team practice facility for the Trail Blazers is a haven -- almost a clubhouse -- for the team's basketball personnel. They can grab something to eat, work in the weight room, watch film, get their shots in, soak in a hot or cold tub, get physical therapy or just relax.

But know one thing, they will be just as protected as they are while left on their own -- and likely more so. And for the league to keep them away from what is actually a safe haven, makes no sense.

Drive-thru windows are open, but the Trail Blazers practice facility is closed? originally appeared on NBC Sports Northwest

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