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Pro Basketball Is Returning To Florida As The Coronavirus Surges

By derio • 2 weeks ago • 2075 views • 774 comments
Pro Basketball Is Returning To Florida As The Coronavirus Surges

Ready or not, the NBA restart is a go.


It appears the league is as ready as it can be to play three months of basketball inside a protective bubble near Orlando, Fla., while on the outside coronavirus cases currently soar.


Whether it's a success – at this point all one can do is dust off the oldest of clichés.


Time will tell.


The NBA and its players union, the National Basketball Players Association, announced Friday they've finalized a plan for 22 teams to arrive around July 7 and start playing games that count, on July 30. Everyone will live and play on a "campus" at Walt Disney World Resort. Games will take place in three separate arenas without fans in attendance.



 The NBA and union have agreed on a comprehensive set of health and safety measures to try to keep players and all NBA staff as safe as possible in the midst of the pandemic. The hundred-plus page protocol covers every possible aspect of a protected life in the bubble while acknowledging that protection might not be perfect.


"It's possible that staff, players, or other participants may test positive or contract the coronavirus," the document reads. "The occurrence of a small or otherwise expected number of COVID-19 cases will not require a decision to suspend or cancel the resumption of the 2019-20 season."


Key phrase there, obviously — "small or otherwise expected."


Judging by a first round of mandatory testing, in advance of the restart, the situation so far seems manageable. Sixteen NBA players tested positive out of 302 screened on Tuesday.


Once inside the Florida bubble, some within the league believe the numbers will be even lower.


"I think the precautions the NBA is taking to enhance the safety of the bubble participants are nothing short of extraordinary," an unnamed team general manager told The Athletic in an anonymous poll of general managers. "Once [everyone is] on campus, I think [people within the league] will appreciate the NBA's work on this."


Others aren't as certain.


"If the cases keep spiking in Florida, things are going to happen," another general manager said. "I'm really, really concerned for the league big-picture wise in many, many ways."


Some players have expressed concerns about the resort staff members, including housekeepers, who won't live in the bubble. Most won't be tested.


"Everything that we know about Disney, and we've read over the years, " a team athletic trainer told ESPN, "is that you don't realize how many thousands of people work there, right? That's the magic behind it all — the amount of staff and the amount of services that they provide. And they're in and out of the bubble."


In response to concerns, National Basketball Players Association Executive Director Michele Roberts said if necessary, the union and the NBA will try to put more restrictions on "third parties" getting access to the bubble.


The health and safety protocol requires Disney staff members to wear masks and maintain social distancing if they're in the same area with NBA personnel. Housekeepers will clean rooms when players and NBA staff aren't there.


In a media conference call later Friday, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said that "we are continuing to work with Disney on the testing of at least a subset of their employees that could potentially be in the same room with our players and anyone else who's tested daily on our campus."


"So we are satisfied that once we work through those additional measures with Disney, we will continue to have a safe setting for us to resume our season."


Still, Silver acknowledged his level of concern has increased in recent days.


"Not just because of the increased [cases of COVID-19] in Florida," he said, "but throughout the country. At least today I believe 29 of the 50 states have an increased number of cases."


Silver was asked what happens if the bubble doesn't work. If instead of a small number of infections, there's an outbreak.


"If we were to have significant spread of coronavirus through our community, that ultimately might lead us to stopping," he said.


"But we're working closely with the players' association, with Disney and public health officials in Florida as to what that line should be, and it hasn't been precisely designed. I think we just want to get down on the ground and start to see how our testing [daily, at least at the start] is working and how the protocols are working and then we'll make decisions as we go.


"One thing we're learning with this virus is so much is unpredictable. We're not saying full steam ahead no matter what happens. We all talk daily, and we're going to see how this continues to play out, but we feel very comfortable right now with where we are."


Another element of Friday's finalized agreement isn't pandemic-related but just as important to many players. It's a plan for taking collective action to combat systemic racism and promote social justice.


Since the police killing of George Floyd in late May, many players have gotten directly involved in protesting and speaking out on social issues. Some players believe the Florida restart could detract and distract from efforts at social reform.


But Silver said the restart will provide a platform to address social justice issues.


The NBA and National Basketball Players Association reportedly have discussed plans for more Black representation around the league, involvement of more Black-owned and operated businesses, and a foundation that would increase educational and economic development opportunities in Black communities.


The NBA has been the most progressive of all the major pro sports leagues in this country. But as with the comprehensive health and safety protocol, all are waiting to see if the social reform agenda also proves to be more than a grand plan.


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774 Replies | Last update 2 weeks ago | Last comment

  • »
     
    2 weeks ago

    Nice update thanks for sharing

  • »
     
    2 weeks ago

    It appears the league is as ready as it can be to play three months of basketball inside a protective bubble near Orlando, Fla., while on the outside coronavirus cases currently soar.

  • »
     
    2 weeks ago

    Awesome. Covid19 has affected everyone

  • »
     
    2 weeks ago

    I love this game,great news

  • »
     
    2 weeks ago

    Life must go on. Stay safe though

  • »
     
    2 weeks ago

    Awesome

  • »
     
    2 weeks ago

    give us hope back open up

  • »
     
    2 weeks ago

    This is a great article, learned a lot from it. Keep posting such informative information

  • »
     
    2 weeks ago

    Interesting 

  • »
     
    2 weeks ago

    Cool

  • »
     
    2 weeks ago

    Wonderful 

  • »
     
    2 weeks ago

    Following 

  • »
     
    2 weeks ago

    Wow good sport

  • »
     
    2 weeks ago

    Following 

  • »
     
    2 weeks ago

    thanks for the update 

  • »
     
    2 weeks ago

    Thanks for the update

  • »
     
    2 weeks ago

    Great

  • »
     
    2 weeks ago

    I do not know more about basket ball thank you for sharing this aricle

  • »
     
    2 weeks ago

    I do enjoy basketball, it is wonderful that the game is coming back. Thanks be to the doctors who discovered the ways of protecting ourselves from corona virus. 

  • »
     
    2 weeks ago

    Nice

  • »
     
    2 weeks ago

    Following

  • »
     
    2 weeks ago

    Yayyyyy

  • »
     
    2 weeks ago

    Amazing

  • »
     
    2 weeks ago

    Thanks

  • »
     
    2 weeks ago

    Interestingly enough that it has been shared 

  • »
     
    2 weeks ago

    Thanks for the information 

  • »
     
    2 weeks ago

    Wish them safety ad they gather again

  • »
     
    2 weeks ago

    Wow I missed the NBA

  • »
     
    2 weeks ago

    Following 

  • »
     
    2 weeks ago

    I love this game, NBA

  • »
     
    2 weeks ago

    Thanks for sharing...

  • »
     

    I am super hyped for basketball

  • »
     

    That's Great news

  • »
     
    2 weeks ago

    Good news

  • »
     
    2 weeks ago

    Following 

  • »
     
    2 weeks ago

    Finally, now we're just waiting for rugby to start too.

  • »
     
    2 weeks ago

    Wow basketball is back..thanks for sharing this information 

  • »
     
    2 weeks ago

    thanks for sharing

  • »
     
    2 weeks ago

    Thanks for the update

  • »
     
    2 weeks ago

    Thanks for the updates

  • »
     
    2 weeks ago

    Following through with the information you have uploaded thanks for sharing this interesting piece of information

  • »
     
    2 weeks ago

    I'm not a big fun of basketball. Thank you for the information shared and keeping us updated 

  • »
     
    2 weeks ago

    Thanks for sharing, much appreciated

  • »
     
    2 weeks ago

    That's a good idea. 

  • »
     
    2 weeks ago

    Following

  • »
     
    2 weeks ago

    Wonderful 

  • »
     
    2 weeks ago

    following

  • »
     
    2 weeks ago

    Ok

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    2 weeks ago

    Following 

  • »
     
    2 weeks ago

    Following

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    2 weeks ago

    Interesting 

  • »
     
    2 weeks ago

    Thank you very much for the information it is very important and helpful

  • »
     
    2 weeks ago

    Thanks for sharing

  • »
     
    2 weeks ago

    interesting thanks 

  • »
     
    2 weeks ago

    Updated

  • »
     
    2 weeks ago

    Thanks for sharing

  • »
     
    2 weeks ago

    Thanks for the update

  • »
     
    2 weeks ago

    Thanks for the information this is very interesting and good news guys

  • »
     
    2 weeks ago

    Wow cnt waite for the restart of the NBA

  • »
     
    2 weeks ago

    The world is slowly adapting to the new normal

  • »
     
    2 weeks ago

    Wow that will be cool

  • »
     
    2 weeks ago

    Thanks for sharing

  • »
     
    2 weeks ago

    Wow am sure the bb fans are thrilled

  • »
     
    2 weeks ago

    Am glad basketball is coming back looking not every time football

  • »
     
    2 weeks ago

    Following

  • »
     
    2 weeks ago

    Following

  • »
     
    2 weeks ago

    Thanks for sharing

  • »
     
    2 weeks ago

    Very informative article 

  • »
     
    2 weeks ago

    This is really awesome to hear

  • »
     
    2 weeks ago

    This corona really has to go it has really taken away our peace. 

  • »
     
    2 weeks ago

    Following 

  • »
     
    2 weeks ago

    Good news 

  • »
     
    2 weeks ago

    cool

  • »
     
    2 weeks ago

    Following closely thanks for the update 

  • »
     
    2 weeks ago

    Thank you for this important information and for sharing this article. Please continue updating us

  • »
     
    2 weeks ago

     

    thank you for sharing this information very interesting and keep it up with updates

     

  • »
     
    2 weeks ago

    It appears the league is as ready as it can be to play three months of basketball inside a protective bubble near Orlando, Fla., while on the outside coronavirus cases currently soar.

  • »
     
    2 weeks ago

    Wow alryt

  • »
     
    2 weeks ago

    It's good to restart but remember to follow possible ways for preventing this Coronavirus

  • »
     
    2 weeks ago

    That's really so wonderful news thank you for sharing this important information with us

  • »
     
    2 weeks ago

    Whether it's a success – at this point all one can do is dust off the oldest of clichés.

     

  • »
     
    2 weeks ago

    Following up

  • »
     
    2 weeks ago

    Following closely 

  • »
     
    2 weeks ago

    Noted

  • »
     
    2 weeks ago

    Noted

  • »
     
    2 weeks ago

    Thanks for sharing the details of the matter, corona has really disturbed

  • »
     
    2 weeks ago

    Thanks a lot for sharing this information with all of us today

  • »
     
    2 weeks ago

    Following 

  • »
     
    2 weeks ago

    Thanks for sharing

  • »
     
    2 weeks ago

    Thanks for sharing this information I really appreciate this alot and I have been updated 

  • »
     
    2 weeks ago

    Interesting 

  • »
     
    2 weeks ago

    Following 

  • »
     
    2 weeks ago

    Thanks for the update

  • »
     
    2 weeks ago

    Life continues despite all this pandemic 

  • »
     
    2 weeks ago

    This is interesting

  • »
     
    2 weeks ago

    Cool

  • »
     
    2 weeks ago

    Thanks for the update

  • »
     
    2 weeks ago

    This is nice.! I'm not a basketball fan but I'm sure fans are thrilled. Thanks for sharing 

  • »
     
    2 weeks ago

    Following up closely

  • »
     
    2 weeks ago

    If we were to have significant spread of coronavirus through our country 

  • »
     

    Nice we can watch something new

  • »
     
    2 weeks ago

    Interesting to read. Such a good article. Thank you for this information

  • »
     
    2 weeks ago

    Alright..cool..thanx

  • »
     
    2 weeks ago

    Finally my game is starting 🙌

  • »
     
    2 weeks ago

    Following 

  • »
     
    2 weeks ago

    Following Thank you 

  • »
     
    2 weeks ago

    This virus is now getting on my nerves, many things are dying because of it, may it soon in Jesus name.

  • »
     
    2 weeks ago

    Interesting

  • »
     
    2 weeks ago

    thanks so much for sharing this information........ 

  • »
     
    2 weeks ago

    Thanks for the update

  • »
     
    2 weeks ago

    Following closely

  • »
     
    2 weeks ago

    Thank you so much for the information that you have posted on this platform... continue keeping us updated 

  • »
     
    2 weeks ago

    Good to know indoor games are resuming soon. 

  • »
     
    2 weeks ago

    Deadly disease 

  • »
     
    2 weeks ago

    Thanks for the update

  • »
     
    2 weeks ago

    okay thanks for informing us

  • »
     
    2 weeks ago

    This is great

  • »
     
    2 weeks ago

    This is great now.

  • »
     
    2 weeks ago

    Following

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