There is growing optimism about a return to action for the 2019-20 NBA season as commissioner Adam Silver continues to explore all options on the table.
The NBA is relying on its most high-profile stars to help gauge their peers’ interest in finishing out the year after it was suspended in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Of course, there remains plenty of speculation regarding what it would take on their part to make it come to fruition.
There is some concern about the restrictions that will come with essentially living in a bubble for the postseason. Fortunately, Silver has since managed to provide some clarification on what this entails.
According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, Silver is hoping to usher in an environment that is similar to a college campus or what’s seen with the likes of headquarters at Apple and Google:
Asked about the bubble-isolation plan on the call, Silver described it as a “campus environment,” sources said. He has talked about one or two locations for players, and the focus continues to be on Orlando’s Walt Disney World Resort and Las Vegas, sources said.
It is safe to say that Silver’s comments certainly helps players gauge the prospect of playing out the year in a much more positive light. There was growing stigma that the NBA would force them into a quarantine that relegated them to their hotel rooms for the bulk of their stay.
Instead, they would be preparing for an exclusive stay at Walt Disney world in Orlando or one of the many ritzy hotels in Las Vegas. Encouraging players to take full advantage of the amenities that will be available could likely play a major role in the league’s efforts get started on a full-fledged return.
The MGM has already submitted a proposal to both the NBA and WNBA to serve as the host for the seasons. They plan on converting one full block of the Las Vegas Strip into a quarantined campus where players and their families will be allowed access to all the perks the resorts have to offer.
Meanwhile, the Walt Disney World Resort has also offered up a similar package that includes on-site housing and the HP Field House basketball court that comes as part of the Wide World of Sports Complex. It is safe to say that this option is the more popular one for those bringing kids into the mix.
Of course, the biggest challenge for Silver and the NBA will be ensuring the safety of players and their families throughout the entire process.