PONTFICATING FROM THE SUNSHINE STATE – JULY 4
By Leo Haggerty
As teams in the National Basketball Association prepare to descend upon Orlando, the league guidelines are starting to materialize. The “Bubble Protocol” will be instituted even before arrival and here’s what that entails.
If an NBA player happens to miss a schedule Covid-19 test in the two days prior to their team’s departure or has “extenuating circumstances” that have been disclosed by the association, he must arrange his own travel to Florida to join his team. Seams easy, right?
Not so fast, my friend. If that scenario occurs, the plot thickens so to speak.
The NBA has mandated specific options of travel. The player can either catch a chartered flight or fly commercial or drive by car. No problem, correct?
Oh, hold your horses on that one because it gets better. If the player flies privately or drives, he will have to have two negative test results before beginning basketball actives at the Walt Disney World Resort. If he happens to fly commercially, then the player must have three consecutive negative test results before rejoining his team.
Teams will be arriving in staggered phases. The first to enter the “Bubble” will be coming in on Tuesday and a second wave on Wednesday with the final group making their appearance on Thursday. After completing a two-day quarantine, training camps can begin with the first ones starting on Thursday.
Finally, if a player has not fulfilled the NBA requirements of being regularly tested for coronavirus over the past several weeks, six consecutive negative tests results is required upon arrival before participating. The NBA ain’t playing around, are they?
Kudos to the league, with the “Bubble Protocol” it has instituted, for trying to create a completely safe environment to restart the 2019-20 season. That’s the easy part.
The hard part will be trying to keep all 22 teams sequestered for the duration of their stay so the NBA season can be completed. Good luck with that.