The NBA led the way for professional sports resuming by putting together a detailed plan that called for teams to essentially quarantine in a bubble on the Walt Disney World campus in Orlando, Florida.
The NBA and NBPA worked closely together in order to hash out not only a plan to finish out the 2019-20 season, but also early groundwork for the offseason and a 2020-21 campaign. Of course, details still need to be finalized, including a start date and the salary cap.
Considering how challenging the bubble was, it was considered short-term plan that would only last for a few months. However, with the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic ongoing, the idea of having a normal 2020-21 season with teams across the country seems more and more far-fetched.
NBPA executive director Michele Roberts recently said that at the rate things are going, a bubble concept would be the best way to go about next season, via Tim Bontemps of ESPN:
“If tomorrow looks like today, I don’t know how we say we can do it differently,” Roberts told ESPN in a phone interview Tuesday afternoon. “If tomorrow looks like today, and today we all acknowledge — and this is not Michele talking, this is the league, together with the PA and our respective experts saying, ‘This is the way to do it’ — then that’s going to have to be the way to do it.”
This will all be a matter of how this virus goes over the ensuing couple of months. If things continue to spread and cases remain high, it will be difficult for the NBA to have a season any other way. However the circumstances for the 2020-21 season will be completely different.
The NBA and NBPA will have to figure out a way to now include every team, not just the 22 that were invited to Orlando, while also doing so for an entire season as opposed to just several weeks.
Roberts isn’t wrong in that if things don’t change around the country they will have to do things in the same way. But all parties will have to come together and figure out how a potential bubble for an entire season will work for the NBA and its players.
NBA considering multiple start dates
NBA commissioner Adam Silver recently said starting the 2020-21 season before January was not likely to happen. However, there since has been momentum toward tipping off on Christmas Day or a few days prior to the NBA’s cherished holiday.
The league is also said to be considering a start on or around Martin Luther King Jr. Day in January.
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