In the past week, there has been more momentum for the 2019-20 NBA season to restart as commissioner Adam Silver and the rest of the league office has been mulling over potential venue proposals that should in theory be able to house and support players in a bubble location.
The most current update has the NBA looking to return at two sites: Walt Disney World and Las Vegas. The two locations appear to be the most feasible as they have ample staying accommodations and the capacity for multiple basketball courts.
And it’s believed Orlando holds the advantage. In discussions of potentially moving the rest of the regular season and playoffs to a centralized location or two, the league is allowing for players to freely roam in and out despite the risk of contracting the coronavirus.
While the NBA is technically allowing the players some freedom, Jared Dudley said the Los Angeles Lakers will be making sure that LeBron James and Anthony Davis stay put, according to Dave McMenamin of ESPN:
“Bron, AD and all the top guys we have, we’ll be wrapping them in a bubble and not letting them go anywhere,” Dudley said. “You’ll have that be a team rule. Now, it won’t be a league, an NBA rule, but you’d want to say, ‘Listen, guys, we’ve come too far. We’re going to put our family on hold.’”
It is unreasonable to think that the league can keep players cooped up at the playing locations for two months or so — and it’s not what Silver is aiming to do — but the Lakers would be playing it smart by shielding its two superstars away from possible infections, especially given what is at stake.
Although no new cases of coronavirus have been reported of late in NBA circles, another positive test from a player or team official would certainly throw a wrenc to the league’s plans to move forward with resuming play.
However, it appears the NBA is taking every precaution in ensuring that nothing like that happens as details have also emerged that testing will be widely available in these bubble locations to ensure the safety of everyone involved.
Lack of testing was a major roadblock in original talks to resume the season, but it appears that the NBA has a plan in place to address the issue. While there is still work to be done, the optimism about a return to the court is palpable, so it may not be much longer until basketball is officially back.