The Boston Celtics will move one step closer towards preparing for the remainder of this season, with voluntary individual player workouts beginning at the team’s practice facility on June 1.
Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker announced on Friday that professional teams in the state could resume practicing soon.
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“I know we still aren’t to the point where we’ll have our pro sports teams back playing anything yet,” Baker said in a press conference at the State House. “The leagues are obviously working hard to host games again. And I think we all hope that at some point, opening practice facilities will help make that happen a little sooner.”
Danny Ainge, the Celtics’ President of Basketball Operations, echoed similar sentiments on Friday.
“We’re happy that our players will now have the option to work out individually in a safe environment at the Auerbach Center,” Ainge said. “And we hope it signals a step back towards playing basketball again.”
The Celtics added that the workouts will adhere to strict protocols that include but are not limited to the following:
- Workouts are voluntary & will be conducted in strict accordance with city, state, CDC, and NBA requirements and guidelines.
- Symptom and temperature checks will be done by team medical staff before anyone enters the facility.
- Workouts will be limited to individual (1-on-0) shooting, strength and conditioning work, and medical evaluation and therapy as needed.
- Only essential areas will be accessed. There will be no access to locker rooms, showers, hydrotherapy, medical exam rooms, cafeteria, and offices.
- Only four players will be able to work out at a time, each working with only one staff member at a time. There will be no more than one player per half court at a time.
- All staff members will wear masks in the building, and any staff member working with a player must wear gloves. Players will wear masks except while engaging in physical activity. Players and staff will adhere to CDC and NBA compliant social distancing standards at all times.
- Social distancing will be required in the building except in limited specific instances (e.g. physical therapy), when PPE will be used.
- A thorough cleaning and disinfection of all spaces and equipment, including basketballs, will take place before and after each player uses the building.
- Only staff members essential to these workouts will be present at the Auerbach Center. There will be no access for general staff, public, or media.
While no definitive date has been set for the NBA to resume play, NBA commissioner Adam Silver has reportedly told owners that the league is targeting July 31 as a return-to-play date.