Patrick Patterson is one of 20 former Kentucky Wildcats that will compete in the NBA’s 22-team postseason at Walt Disney World this summer, and to prepare, he’s been participating in the Los Angeles Clippers’ voluntary workouts at their training facility in Playa Vista, California since May 18. In an interview with the Los Angeles Times, Patterson detailed the safety protocols and social distancing measures at those workouts, and it’s a pretty fascinating look at the new normal for sports until the pandemic comes to an end.
Patterson said that before players are allowed to enter the facility, they’re required to take — and pass — a COVID-19 nasal swab test, which he admitted was “the most uncomfortable part” (Enes Kanter filmed himself getting one over the weekend and I’m still wincing). From there, it’s all about distance and sanitization.
“There’s a limited amount of parking spaces in order to create space in the parking lot and limit the amount of people who can come inside. You have to walk in wearing a mask and gloves, and they take your temperature and ask you how you’re feeling and if you’re taking any medication, vitamins or pills. They clean anything you’re bringing in as far as cellphones, keys, wallet or anything else. It’s a very thorough process.”
“Everyone is really spaced out. There are only four chairs in the locker room. Each guy is in their own corner of the room. Showers are very limited. They clean everything you touch as soon as you’re done with it, from basketballs on the court to weights. They wipe down the court, the basketball rim, any equipment you might use, so it’s clean for the next person.”
For now, only two to four players are allowed in the Clippers’ facility to work out at a time, which makes controlling the environment much easier. What happens when training camp begins on June 21 — and ultimately, when the postseason tips off on July 31 — remains to be seen.
For more from Patterson, click the link below.