Many make the nearly 2 1/2 hour drive from Los Angeles to Santa Barbara to enjoy the area’s wineries, beaches and scenery. The Lakers, meanwhile, will make the trek up there to play basketball and perhaps cement team bonding during training camp.
The Lakers host “Media Day” on Sept. 26 from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. at their practice facility in El Segundo, an annual event that entails interviews with numerous media outlets and team broadcast partners as well as promotional plugs for in-game entertainment and sponsorship needs. The Lakers will then train at the Robertson Gymnasium at UC Santa Barbara from Sept. 27 through Oct. 2 before beginning their exhibition schedule on Oct. 4 against the Sacramento Kings at the Honda Center in Anaheim.
The Lakers currently plan to have single practice sessions to open and close training camp in Santa Barbara, while holding four two-a-day sessions in between. Lakers coach Luke Walton could change that itinerary depending on various factors, including how much to weigh the needs for further instruction and conditioning while keeping the roster healthy.
The Lakers will then resume training at their practice facility in El Segundo in between preseason games at Staples Center (Denver; Oct. 7, Portland, Oct. 11), in Ontario (Denver; Oct. 9) in Las Vegas (Sacramento; Oct. 13, Golden State; Oct. 15), San Diego (Golden State; Oct. 19), and Anaheim (Sacramento; Oct. 4, Phoenix; Oct. 21).
The Lakers last trained in Santa Barbara in 1999. Last year, the Lakers spent the first part of training camp in Hawaii for the first time in 2007. As originally reported by Southern California News Group, the Lakers originally planned to have this year’s training camp in El Segundo before changing plans.
The Lakers have accommodated informal workouts on most weekdays only six days finishing the 2015-16 season with their worst record in franchise history (17-65). The Lakers’ young core of players have become frequent visitors, including D’Angelo Russell, Julius Randle, Jordan Clarkson, Larry Nance Jr. and Anthony Brown. Following Las Vegas Summer League play, Lakers rookies Brandon Ingram and Ivica Zubac have often trained at the Lakers’ practice facility as well.