Hey everyone, this is Sam. Let’s talk about the NBA bubble and Covid-19. I’m not an expert on the NBA at all. I’m more of a college fan. You need to trust Shay Youngblood for that, but I am trying to stay up on Covid-19. The NBA bubble actually worked and their fans got full action. Let’s start on the Disney World bubble.
Disney World Bubble
The Disney World bubble may have been the greatest idea to fight Covid-19 and give us our sports back. I love that they had a “rat line” where players or others could tell on those players that were breaking the rules. Then the NBA took it seriously enough to make them quarantine. Many writers and players have spoken about the complex testing program that the NBA kept up with, not to mention operating three different arenas and making sure the players stayed in line.
Now, the big question is how to have a 72 game season without putting them in the bubble. Does anyone think the teams can be responsible for performing ALL of that on their own? Some of them can’t pick out uniforms or even punish their players appropriately, but we think they can do testing correctly? Are you serious?
The NBA never had to set up a travel schedule like the MLB and NFL did. They didn’t have to make decisions about what airports weren’t safe enough to go to or when to cancel games either before or after teams arrived. I know the NBA is ready for all the bumps that other leagues have experienced. But are they prepared for all the different contingencies?
Of course, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said on Monday, “I think we are prepared for isolated cases. In fact, based on what we’ve seen in the preseason [and] watching other leagues operating a bubble, unfortunately, it seems somewhat inevitable.”
What Did NBA Put Into Effect?
If a player tests positive, he must remain in isolation for at least 10 days or pass Covid-19 tests on two consecutive days before returning to their team.
I didn’t know this, so it was a little bit of a shock. I think it is a great idea. Teams can use only pre-approved restaurants and private dining spaces. Players are banned from visiting bars, nightclubs and public gyms.
This next rule I’m not sure I understand. If you have an explanation then write below in comments below. Players are limited to two guests in their rooms. Both must be family members or close friends. Define close friends to me. Are they the same close friends all season or different close friends in every city?
Luckily, the NBA is being realistic by anticipating positive tests, so they have expanded the active game rosters from 13 to 15 players. Two-way players can be active for up to 50 games.
NBA Key Dates
Dec. 22-March 4: First Half of Regular Season
March 5-10: All-Star Break
March 11-May 16: Second Half of Regular Season (schedule is TBD)
May 18-21: Play-in Tournament
May 22-July 22: Playoffs
Second Half With Fans?
The Dallas Mavericks owner, Mark Cuban, told Sirius XM NBA Radio that he thinks “things are going to get really fun” in NBA arenas in the season’s second half. Listening to NIAID Director Anthony Fauci, he has predicted that most Americans will be able to get the Covid-19 vaccine by late spring or early summer and that “it’s possible” we could see full stadiums and arenas again in 2021. Do you think we can? Will you go? I can’t help but be excited about the idea.
One last question that no one seems to have answers to or wants to answer. How many cases are too many? Mark Cuban told the New York Times, “We won’t be able to eliminate cases and outbreaks, but if we can minimize them then hopefully it can be as close to a normal season as possible.”
Do you think this will work? Should they have tried an NBA bubble again? I think they are going to fall somewhere between NFL games and MLB games being cancelled or pushed back. I’m just not sure that if there are too many runaway winners and not enough parity then they may see fans fall off. Give me your thoughts, ideas, and questions in the comments below.