Los Angeles Lakers All-Star Anthony Davis is working hard to prepare for the conclusion of the 2019-20 NBA season. Due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the return will be far different than anything this league has seen before.
It is requiring unprecedented sacrifices from players, putting all each of them and personnel from 22 teams in a bubble at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida.
While this plan is absolutely drastic, it is undoubtedly the safest means that any major sports league has come up with. With virus cases spiking all around the country, and especially in Florida, players will need to do everything they can to comply with the rules set forth by commissioner Adam Silver.
Concerns remain, but Davis is keeping optimistic. “I think for the safety of the league, all the players and people there, I think everyone would be mindful of following the rules,” he said.
“Just because of everything going, numbers are spiking in Orlando, I would think no one wants to get COVID. So hopefully guys won’t put themselves or other players and staff that’s going to be in the bubble, in jeopardy. I don’t think guys will do anything like that.”
Davis also put his trust in Silver and commended him for his plan. “I have trust in him, but you don’t know until we’re there to see what’s going on. As of right now everything is looking promising,” he said.
“They came out with some Mickey Mouse bands or something like that, to tell temperature and say if they get sick days before. They’re trying everything that they can to ensure safety of players and the league. Just got to have trust in that.”
Although everything within the bubble looks safe from a distance, Davis knows ensuring everyone’s health means a lot of alone time. “To be honest, I have no idea,” he answered when asked how to pass time.
“There will be a lot of video games, a lot of staying in your room. I don’t think there’s much we can do. I know there will be some things like golfing and fishing.”
Silver and the league have been praised by medical officials for the depth of their return plan, and it seems the players feel comfortable with it too.
Teams like the Lakers — who have legitimate championship aspirations — will be more motivated to follow the rules within the bubble. It’s teams who are on the fringes that need to be kept a close eye on, as they might be more motivated to have fun in Florida than they would be to stay alone in their rooms.
So much remains up in the air about how the plan will work out. But if all players choose to comply the way Davis says he will, it’s likely that the NBA can get through this successfully.
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