The NBA is still in the process of setting the necessary safety protocols that will be involved for all 22 teams making the trip to the bubble environment at the Walt Disney World campus in Orlando, Fla.
The league has naturally put an emphasis on ensuring the health of players and staff throughout the course of the eight regular-season seeding games and playoffs. They have already established that anyone who tests positive for coronavirus (COVID-19), suffers any serious injury, or simply chooses to leave the bubble could be quarantined anywhere from seven to 14 days.
The NBA is now in the midst of a pre-screening process that will give them a better idea of some of the health risks involved for certain individuals making the trip. This has led to speculation regarding any potential action that may be taken if they find something that could pose a problem down the road.
According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski and Zach Lowe, the league is putting together a panel of physicians to oversee the process of eliminating any risk of serious illness:
NBA team personnel are expected to be asked to submit personal medical histories to a panel of physicians who would review the individual risk of serious illness due to any spread of the coronavirus in the NBA’s bubble environment in Orlando, Florida, sources told ESPN.
It is unclear what authority, if any, that panel might have in prohibiting any personnel from attending Orlando — or placing limitations upon them — but there is some anxiety about such limitations among teams, sources said.
Although it remains to be seen if this panel will be allowed to place any restrictions, the prospect of teams having to make adjustments at the behest of these physicians has already amplified some existing concerns.
NBA commissioner Adam Silver has already addressed the possibility of head coaches having limited access with their teams on the bench and potentially being confined to meeting and locker room situations. While this notion clearly has not sat well around the league, it could be much more severe for some of the more veteran coaches taking part.
With the elderly considered to be among the most vulnerable to contracting the coronavirus (COVID-19), it could cause the panel to focus their attention on teams like the San Antonio Spurs, Houston Rockets and New Orleans Pelicans, whose coaches are all over the age of 65.
Any further restrictions placed by the committee of physicians could leave them at a significant disadvantage for this truncated season.