Although it now appears to be on somewhat shaky ground, the NBA and NBPA did both vote to approve a 22-team plan that would be held on the Walt Disney World grounds in Orlando, Florida.
Particularly given new unrest from a faction of the league’s players, there still are several details that must be decided on. Included in that — and perhaps most importantly — are health and safety protocols.
For starters, the league has said that they will not track players or absolutely require them to stay within the bubble. However, should a player leave, they’ll have to begin a 10-day quarantine until they have received two consecutive negative tests for the coronavirus (COVID-19).
And while this does seem a bit harsh, it is the absolute best way to ensure everyone’s health within the bubble. If a player were to leave, contract the virus, and return without a quarantine, they could be spreading it to a number of unsuspecting players.
Although it could very well be subject to change, the NBA reportedly plans on quarantine of up to two days for players and passing testing upon arriving in the bubble, according to Marc Stein of The New York Times:
As the league and union continue negotiations on the safety protocols for their Walt Disney World bubble, sources tell @NYTSports the current expectation is that players would quarantine for up to two days in their rooms on “campus” until they register two negative COVID-19 tests
— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) June 11, 2020
This is just one of many small sacrifices that players and staff will have to make in order to guarantee that everyone stays healthy and out of harm’s way. Quarantining away from others prevents the rapid spread of the virus, and is perhaps the only 100% effective way of doing so.
In a situation that is unprecedented in the world of sports, everyone involved will need to do things they may be uncomfortable with, or sacrifice in some small way. If a player is truly against all of these changes, the NBA has said that there will be no punishments other than a loss of money for those who decide to stay at home entirely.
The next four months will be unlike any other in NBA history, as no one truly knows the right thing to do. Players, staff, and the league executives will need to work together to make sure that everyone remains healthy and happy with the decisions being made.