The NBA and NBPA have been at work trying to finalize their plan to officially bring back the 2019-20 regular season, and they recently announced the 22-team format being implemented when games do resume at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex.
While the general framework has been decided, there are still several questions and details that need to be finalized before everything can begin. Walt Disney World in Orlando, Fla., was chosen to be the league’s bubble location for the remainder of the season and playoffs, but logistically there are concerns about how many people will be on-site and for how long.
Danny Green serves as the Los Angeles Lakers’ NBPA’s rep and has been responsible for relaying information to his teammates about what is being discussed. In an interview with Mark Medina of USA Toady, Green outlined the biggest issues the players are wondering about:
“The biggest concern is for most teams is hotels, who is staying where, the space, friends and family visiting, seeing how they are going to quarantine them, if we’re going to be quarantined and for how long if we leave the bubble. How often testing is going to be?”
Testing is a major issue as the threat of contracting coronavirus (COVID-19) is still high despite an isolated campus-like environment being utilized. There are non-NBA employees are maintain and upkeep the facilities and amenities at World Disney World and would also need to be subject to the same testing and health protocols in order to ensure the safety of everyone involved.
Players are also hesitant to report to Orlando because of how long they will likely need to stay quarantined on-site in order to reduce the risk of outside infection. How much freedom players will have within the bubble — and potentially outside of it — remains unclear.
Green and his peers are understandably concerned as no plan is full-proof and there will almost certainly be unforeseen issues that will come up when teams and personnel make their move in the coming weeks. NBPA executive director Michele Roberts admitted that a positive coronavirus test is almost an inevitability, but the league reportedly has contingency plans in the event that happens.
Despite the remaining questions, things are still scheduled to resume but how it looks and if it actually works remains to be seen