When it comes to safety measures in light of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the NBA has remained a step ahead of all the other major sports leagues. Not only were they the first league to shut down all operations, they also were the creators of the Walt Disney World bubble, which was a wild success in comparison to MLB and NFL plans.
When the 2019-20 season ended, team facilities remained closed until the league could figure out a plan to safely open without causing team-wide spread. As the season is months away from beginning, protocols do not need to be quite as strict as before, but there is still a safety concern.
That is especially true for teams in markets with significant spread, like Los Angeles or Miami. However, the NBA now has permitted the opening of practice facilities with a 10-player maximum on the court together at the same time, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic:
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) October 30, 2020
This decision by the league shows how far they’ve come with their testing and contact tracing program, as there was a time when facilities were only open for one player at a time back in May and June. Now, teams will be able to conduct semi-normal practices, with testing continuing daily for those that wish to enter the facility regularly.
While the NFL struggles to go one week without an outbreak, the NBA has been on top of their protocols. It’s a testament to not only the attention to detail by the league in shaping the rules, but also the care of the players.
Players may sit out first month of season if NBA continues with December plan
Safety concerns have been routinely addressed in a positive way by the NBA. However, there still remains major conflict over what the 2020-21 season will look like, and when it will begin.
At the moment, the league wants things to start up before Christmas, giving the Los Angeles Lakers and Miami Heat a two-month offseason. If that happens, players like LeBron James may sit until mid-January, when their preferred start date of Martin Luther King Jr. Day arrives.
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