The NBA has done what it can to establish viable safety protocols for the 2019-20 season restart in a bubble environment at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida.
Regardless, there are still plenty of concerns due to the recent spike in the number of positive coronavirus (COVID-19) cases throughout the country. This has amplified the risks involved for the 22 teams making the trip for potentially up to the next three months.
The NBA has received praise from the medical community for its comprehensive health guidelines that will be used in the bubble. However, commissioner Adam Silver seems to understand that all their efforts could be undone by certain unforeseen circumstances.
Although the NBA is confident in the precautionary steps they have taken, Silver acknowledged the impact that potential positive cases inside the bubble can have on the operation, viaESPN’s Ohm Youngmisuk:
“We won’t be surprised when they first come down to Orlando if we have some additional players test positive,” Silver told Fortune Brainstorm Health. “What would be most concerning is once players enter this campus and then go through our quarantine period, then if they were to test positive or if we were to have any positive tests, we would know we would have an issue.”
“… We would know that there’s in essence a hole in our bubble or that our quarantine or our campus is not working in some way,” Silver added later. “So that would be very concerning.”
Players already had mixed emotions about finishing out the season amid a time of social unease and the ongoing pandemic. The possibility of positive cases early on could ultimately result in the NBA shutting down operations for a second time while also pushing back the timeline of next season.
Seven teams have already been forced to take action in order to avoid outbreaks of their own by shutting down their practice facilities. In the event that a player does test positive in the bubble, Silver is optimistic about their ability to track down the source of the virus and prevent any further spread.
Of course, it remains to be seen whether or not this will be enough to give the players some peace of mind while they try to get back into the swing of things before the eight seeding games begin at the end of the month.
Have you subscribed to our YouTube channel? It’s the best way to watch player interviews, exclusive coverage from events, participate in live shows, and more!