It took months of planning and brainstorming, but the NBA and the NBPA finally approved on a plan to bring back the 2019-20 NBA season.
The two parties agreed on a 22-team format that will include a possible play-in tournament for the final playoff spot in the Western and Eastern Conferences. It will all take place at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex on the Walt Disney World campus in Orlando, Fla.
The bubble location will be the host of a few exhibition games, followed by eight regular-season games and then the playoffs.
The announcement of the season’s return was met with much excitement and joy as the league has been on pause since March 11. Players have been able to work out in their team’s training facilities, but will soon be packing their bags and heading to Florida for an abbreviated conditioning and practice period at the end of the month.
When the season was on hiatus, many players opted to return to their home towns and quarantine with their families. However, according to Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer, it appears the league has already given those players dates on when to return to their team’s city:
Players currently living outside the country are advised to return to their team’s city on June 15. Players currently in the United States should return on June 22.
The NBA also established a time frame for when they would be administering coronavirus (COVID-19) tests:
Under this timeline, teams would begin testing players for the coronavirus on June 23, likely every other day.
The earlier return date for the international players is due to required quarantine periods in certain states, while players still in the United States should find it much easier to travel. It is also good to see that the league is planning on regular testing as infection rates are still and that players and team employees are still susceptible to contracting coronavirus despite the controlled conditions.
As far as everything else goes, things seem to be still on track as teams will get an opportunity to practice with their teams once they get to Orlando. The current plan is to have two to three exhibition games to help teams get back in the swing of things before resuming the season on July 31.
Los Angeles Lakers players have been diligently working out, but will finally get back on the floor together and hopefully build some momentum heading into the postseason.