The NBA seems to be on the verge of taking one step closer to a return to the 2019-20 regular season by settling down on Walt Disney World in Orlando as the centralized location for the remainder of the year.
Commissioner Adam Silver has been adamant about making player safety a top priority in the NBA’s attempts to crown a champion this year. Of course, that was hardly the only concern players had when discussing the prospect of staying in a bubble city for a handful of regular season games and the playoffs.
Silver has also made sure to emphasize that the league does not plan to put players on any type of lockdown that would keep them quarantined in their rooms when there are no games going on. It seems the NBA has since taken action to try and emulate a family atmosphere.
According to ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne and Adrian Wojnarowski, the NBA and NBPA are assembling a plan to allow players to be joined by a limited number of family members:
The NBA and National Basketball Players Association are progressing on a plan that would allow for a limited number of family members to join the players for the season’s resumption inside an Orlando, Florida, bubble environment, sources told ESPN on Wednesday.
Conversations have centered on the timing of family arrivals at Walt Disney World Resort, which are likely to start once an initial wave of teams are eliminated and the number of people within the league’s bubble decreases, sources said.
Family members would be subjected to the same safety and coronavirus testing protocols as everyone else living in the NBA’s biosphere, sources said.
Allowing players to have their families with them for the experience provides them with another incentive to finish out the season. This could very well have been a major factor that the league considered when deciding between Las Vegas and the more family-friendly Disney World.
Although the NBA is open to letting families staying in the bubble, it remains to be seen at what point they plan on bringing them in. It’s possible they would prefer to wait until a portion of the teams have gone back home that way it is easier to maintain safety protocols with fewer people.
Regardless, this should still provide some relief for teams that are preparing for a deep playoff run. The prospect of enduring an extensive stay in Orlando will be much easier for players if their families are able to join them.