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Coronavirus: Lakers coach Vogel not rushing return, says games are 'a long way away'

  • Frank Vogel is prepared to take his time welcoming the Los Angeles Lakers back to practice.
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Modified 07 May 2020, 10:56 IST
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Frank Vogel

Los Angeles Lakers head coach Frank Vogel is in no rush for his team to return to practice, saying games were still "a long way away".

The NBA season was suspended in March due to the coronavirus pandemic, but teams can reportedly begin reopening practice facilities in certain states from Friday.

The Lakers were 49-14 and top of the Western Conference when the season was paused, but Vogel is prepared to take his time with his team's return.

"There's a competitive balance element to this that I personally am not really all that concerned about," Vogel told reporters on Wednesday, via ESPN.

"I think we're still a long way away from returning to play."

Vogel believes most teams will decide against returning on Friday amid the COVID-19 pandemic, which has seen more than 265,000 people die worldwide.

While there have been suggestions the NBA could head straight into its playoffs when it restarts, Vogel said teams needed to play games before the postseason.

"I think we need some games. I don't know if they'd have to be regular-season games, in terms of finishing the season. Maybe they're exhibition games, you know what I mean, that you treat as sort of your dress rehearsal or whatever," he said.

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"I think for the health of the league and for the health of everyone involved, the more we can get in for our league and our fans, the better.

"So I think if there's a way to get regular-season games in, that would be great, but safety's going to be the top priority. But the biggest thing for me is that there's got to be at least some exhibition games, which I think there would be."

Published 07 May 2020, 10:56 IST
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