The Los Angeles Lakers arrived at Walt Disney World on Thursday for what they hope is the start of a lengthy stay in Orlando, Florida. They were one of 22 teams invited to the bubble for the resumption of the 2019-20 NBA season, which is set to tip off on July 30.
Players will have strict guidelines to follow in between games to ensure they remain healthy amid the rising number of coronavirus (COVID-19) cases across the state. However, they won’t necessarily be confined to their hotel rooms and can take advantage of the many amenities offered by the parks.
Among them include boating options as players can go fishing or rent motorized pontoon boats. However, these specific perks will initially only be available to teams lodged at the Grand Floridian and Yacht Club hotels.
For the Lakers and the seven other teams that will reside at the Gran Destino Tower at Coronado Springs Resort hoping to participate in boating activities, they are out of luck until scrimmages begin on July 22, via Fred Katz of The Athletic:
The teams will have access to barbers, manicurists, golfing, fishing excursions (with only nonalcoholic beverages allowed), motorized boats (also with only nonalcoholic beverages), bowling and after-hours trips to the theme park. Players and others in attendance have two boating options. Participants can go on a “guided fishing experience,” a two-hour trip with up to five guests allowed. They cannot take alcohol on the boat.
They can also rent motorized pontoon boats — once again, without taking alcoholic beverages onboard. Before the beginning of scrimmages on July 22, the memo notes, only teams located at two of the three NBA-attended hotels, the Grand Floridian and the Yacht Club, can use the boats.
Beginning in late July, Walt Disney World will open for after-hours experiences. Up to 40 guests at a time (so, mostly a full team — considering each organization is bringing about 40 people) will be allowed to go to Expedition Everest at Animal Kingdom, Rock ’n’ Roller Coaster at Hollywood Studios, Test Track at Epcot and more.
Because teams are playing inside a bubble for the next two-and-half months, home-court advantage will be non-existent in games. The NBA came up with a creative solution to address this issue, assigning teams at one of three resorts based on their seeding.
Teams currently slotted in the top four seeds of their respective conference will be stationed at the Gran Destino, which is the park’s newest resort and the closest to the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex.
That means the Lakers will share the space with the Boston Celtics, Denver Nuggets, Miami Heat, Milwaukee Bucks, L.A. Clippers, Toronto Raptors and Utah Jazz.
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