Barred from their team's practice facility at Amway Center because of the ongoing NBA lockout, Orlando Magic players are taking it upon themselves to get ready for the upcoming season -- if there is a season.
Most Magic players will begin getting together next week in Central Florida for informal workouts that include weightlifting sessions, conditioning drills and basketball scrimmages.
"I just want guys to get together a few days a week just to get back in the flow of things as much as we can and get some weightlifting in and some conditioning and get some shots up," co-captain and starting point guard Jameer Nelson told the Orlando Sentinel.
Nelson and his teammates have a simple goal: They want to replicate their normal pre-training camp routine as closely as possible, despite the lockout. In a typical year, all of the players who spend the June, July and August outside of Central Florida would be preparing now at Amway Center for training camp.
This year, the Magic's first training-camp practice is scheduled to be held on Oct. 4.
"This is the time we all come back into town and just get together and get around each other and hang out a little bit, whether it's dinner or going to watch a couple of football games, and work out during the day," Nelson said. "It doesn't have to be an everyday thing because we have a veteran team. Guys still do their own thing working on their bodies individually, and to my understanding, most guys are [working on their own] right now."
Nelson, center Dwight Howard and wing Quentin Richardson are making arrangements for gym space and for athletic trainers to be present, Richardson said.
Meanwhile, the 2011-12 season is in jeopardy. A key labor meeting Tuesday in New York yielded no breakthrough in talks for a new collective bargaining agreement.
"We're going to start working together as if everything is starting at some point soon until we hear different," Richardson said.
Nelson would not disclose where the team will hold its workouts next week, but he did say that he's received positive responses from his veteran teammates.
Nelson said he will contact Magic rookie shooting guard DeAndre Liggins soon. Forward Justin Harper, another Magic rookie, will not be able to participate in the informal workouts because he is playing for a pro team in France until the lockout ends.
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