Thanks to their co-captain, count the Philadelphia 76ers among the teams that plan the stay active during the NBA lockout.
Sixers’ forward Elton Brand has organized an informal workout in Los Angeles next week, and several players have already informed him that they will attend, including Andre Iguodala, Evan Turner and Lou Williams.
“I can’t wait to see where the guys are at,” Brand said in a recent interview with the Associated Press. “I’ve been talking to them all summer. They seem to be in shape already in case we get this thing going.”
Because the league’s collective bargaining agreement has expired, NBA players are barred from team facilities. That fact alone makes workouts such as the one Brand has set up next week in Los Angeles very difficult to organize.
In a perfect world, NBA training camps would open about five weeks from now, and Brand and the rest of his teammates would have more than enough time to get into a rhythm before the regular season kicks off on November 2. However, with labor negotiations between the NBA and the players’ association at a standstill, it’s anyone’s guess as to when the next time the Sixers will be able to work out under the watchful eye of the team’s coaching staff.
Many of the league’s superstars have taken to the summer league circuit in order to keep their skills sharp. Even still, loosely organized pickup games with minimal defense are a less-than-ideal substitute for having actual practices with teammates.
Brand isn’t alone in his desire to get some legitimate work in before the start of the season. If the lockout extends into September, Kevin Durant plans to assemble the entire Oklahoma City Thunder team for informal practices.
In the event that a new CBA is reached at some point in the next few weeks, count workouts such as these as the reason some teams may have a leg up on others when the season finally gets underway.