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For all the glitz and glamour surrounding the Lakers' franchise, their current practice facility does not exactly exude such a mystique.
The Lakers have only one basketball court and its office space is somewhat cramped. So in an effort both to expand room for their day- to-day operations and provide a mechanism to lure free agents beyond their storied championship history, the Lakers plan to build a modern practice facility in El Segundo.
The Lakers did not provide any details on the beginning or completion date. But they announced entering an agreement with CDC Mar Campus, LLC to purchase a five-acre undeveloped portion at Campus El Segundo near the northwest corner of Mariposa Avenue and Douglas Street. The completion of the purchase hinges on the City of El Segundo's approval.
The Lakers currently practice at Toyota Sports Center in El Segundo, a building shared with the NHL's Kings and a skating rink that is often open to the general public. The Lakers would own their future facility and would have more room to accommodate their business and basketball operations. The Lakers' marketing, ticketing, corporate sponsorships and community relations are located in a different building about a block away. The Lakers also have no sign of their logo outside of the building proclaiming their existence.
The Clippers opened a $60 million practice facility in Playa Vista in 2008 that includes two basketball courts, spacious offices and expansive video and weight rooms. They had practice before at Spectrum, an El Segundo health club, and L.A. Southwest College.
Part of the Lakers' thought process entails wanting to have another mechanism to attract free agents, according to a source familiar with the details. But it is unclear if the new facility will be built in time for the 2015 free-agent class that includes Kevin Love and LaMarcus Aldridge.
Steve Nash will be about a week away from playing in another basketball game this season, and the reasons go beyond the nerve issues in his back.
The Lakers expect Jordan Farmar to return next week after nursing a strained right groin that has sidelined him for the previous two weeks. D'Antoni has said he would prefer playing Kendall Marshall and Farmar extended minutes instead of Nash so the Lakers can evaluate how the young prospects fit into their free-agency plans.
"He wont get to play," D'Antoni said about Nash with a chuckle. "He understands the situation. Steve's a smart guy and understands what we're trying to do. And he buys in. That makes it nice."
Farmar will spend this week increasing his practice routine, but he has tried to stay cautious because of the sensitivity surrounding his injury. He has torn two left hamstrings and injured his right groin because of a shifting pelvis moving his body out of alignment.
"It puts a lot of tension on other parts of my body," Farmar told this newspaper. "I'm really focused on what they call a neutral position in taking that load off my body. It'll put a strain on a hamstring, a quad or a groin."