Cavs prepared, planning to reopen team facility Friday

Team to adhere to strict guidelines set by NBA, local officials

Daryl Ruiter
May 06, 2020 - 11:12 pm

CLEVELAND, Ohio (92.3 The Fan) – The Cleveland Cavaliers plan to open their training facility, Cleveland Clinic Courts, on Friday.

In what feels like a monumental step forward towards the return of basketball, it will hardly be business as usual.

“Our plan is to open our facility on Friday and have guys in there working individually,” head coach J.B. Bickerstaff said on a Zoom video conference with reporters Wednesday. “And the way that it's set up is, the social distancing rules are still in place.”

The NBA sent teams directives and guidelines for the workouts and how they should be conducted.

“There's one coach at one basket with one player,” Bickerstaff said. “The league is recommending that they keep 12 feet between one another. So you're they're basically rebounding for a guy and passing to a guy.

“The coaches that will be there will be protected they will be wearing masks and they will be wearing gloves as well, to make sure that they're safe and that we're doing the best by them and, and for anyone who is involved in this, this is voluntary. No one is being pressured to do anything. If people feel uncomfortable doing this, it's not mandatory.”

Bickerstaff and his top assistant coaches will not be at the facility to work with players.

“From my understanding, and the way I've read it, no, we're not allowed to be anywhere, to be able to watch to be able to yell and scream from the background, nothing,” Bickerstaff said. “So, from what the league guidelines are no head coach or front bench coach can be near the facility at that time.”

Over the last eight weeks, Bickerstaff and the Cavs staff have done what they can to keep players in shape remotely.

The training as well as player development staffs put together exercises and drills for players to do at home while incorporating video conferencing into the work.

“We've tried our best to stay engaged,” Bickerstaff said. “A bunch of these zoom calls a bunch of individual face times, text messages. We've got the group together as a whole on a zoom call, we've done small group zoom calls. Just trying to make sure that we're staying connected as best we possibly can.”

With players scattered across the country, Bickerstaff isn’t expecting them to return to Cleveland in the near future.

“It's their decision to choose whether or not they want to come back,” Bickerstaff said. “One of the things that we're working with is the guidelines, when guys do come back. The 14-day quarantine that the government is asking them to do. For some of those guys it doesn't make sense for them to come back and then have to wait the 14 days when some of them where they are have facilities that they can use whether it be at home facilities or private facilities just for them.

“I would doubt that many guys would come back.”