The NBA has spared no expense in establishing health and safety protocols for the 2019-20 season restart on the Walt Disney World Campus in Orlando, Florida.
Nevertheless, the league has recently faced with another challenge in its looming return to action as the reported number of coronavirus (COVID-19) cases have spiked in Florida. The health risks involved had already served as a deterrent for players contemplating making the trip, and there are now even more concerns since the state has become the hotbed for the pandemic.
Commissioner Adam Silver and National Basketball Players Association executive director Michele Roberts have acknowledged the negative impact this latest development has had on the outlook of the rest of the season.
And it appears the players are not the only ones that have voiced their concern. According to Sam Amick of The Athletic, there are a number of general managers that have mixed feelings about going through on the return-to-play plan if the state continues to experience record-setting numbers in COVID-19 cases:
“If the cases keep spiking in Florida, things are going to happen,” one GM told The Athletic on Monday. “I’m really, really concerned for the league big-picture wise in many, many ways.”
Despite the concerns of players and front office officials alike, both Silver and Roberts are still optimistic in the steps the league has taken to establish viable safety protocols. However, they did indicate that NBA may prepared to take further action if Florida is unable to make any improvements.
The NBA received praise from the medical community for its comprehensive health guidelines that were documented in the 113-page handbook. The doctors added that the regulations involved with keeping players and staff confined within the bubble environment could significantly help limit their chances of testing positive for COVID-19.
Regardless, the league may need to look into further enhancing their protocol if they hope to provide the players and general managers with some peace of mind for the duration of their trip. This could very well include enhanced testing, stricter security measures, and restricting the number of company employees that are not required to remain inside the bubble.
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