The Los Angeles Lakers called out a collection of their young stars, top executives, president Jeanie Buss and coach Luke Walton to a construction site on Wednesday. Why? Well, the Lakers announced a partnership with UCLA Health for the naming rights of the Lakers' new training facility, which is set to open in the summer of 2017.
The new facility will feature two full basketball courts, which is double the size of the Lakers' current accommodations at the Honda Center only a few blocks away.
In addition, the Lakers are pulling out all the stops, according to a source familiar with the details of the construction projection. The new facility will feature a lounge that will open into an outdoor atrium if staff or players want to eat outside. This is Southern California, after all.
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Of course, there will be a full kitchen, whereas now all the food is catered externally. So, the Lakers will effectively have their own restaurant and chef on site.
There will be over 1,000 seats to watch the LA D-Fenders' games, so the Lakers effectively have one of the best minor league basketball arenas around.
Since this is California, a sandpit will be attached to the weight room, so Lakers coach Luke Walton can give the young players pointers on how to dominate on the beach volleyball courts with the same gusto that he can coach the young talent on how to dominate on the basketball court.
There is also a barbershop, which is a welcome sight for media members, who occasionally had to awkwardly share the media room with players as they got trimmed up on the morning of big games. The barbershop will also have that twirly red, white and blue fixture to signify that the Lakers have not skimped on any minute details.
All the rage in an athlete's recovery process, the Lakers will have a Cryogenic Chamber in the recovery room, which will also have recovery tables with "blood flow things," the source said. Also, there will be a new "quiet room," which is meant for staff and players that have a few hours to kill in between meetings or just need to get a quick nap in. This room is possibly going to feature massage beds with warm water that rolls under players and helps them relax for a couple of hours in a comfortable state, according to the source.
Essentially, the Los Angeles Lakers have been working on an independent facility that will house the team's corporate offices, double the size of the team's training facilities, improve access to healthy tools and provide players with luxury accommodations.
"It's like belonging to a spa," the source summed up.
For the Lakers, the new facility expects to be part of the pitch to free agents interested in joining the team in the future. One would have a tough time finding any facility in the NBA or in all of professional sports that surpasses what the team has planned for LA's new home base.