Bubble of a NBA Season

Willow Riney, Staff Writer

The National Basketball Association came up with a fantastic idea to create a bubble. Its purpose was to give the NBA a season for 2020 and adhere to the number one rule, which was safety concerning COVID-19. The bubble was a big structure placed in Orlando, Florida at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World. The investment was $170 million by the NBA, and it contained three basketball courts inside. The primary purpose was to keep the season going and complete a full season of playoff games, but the bubble rules would have to be followed no matter what. There were 22 total teams (13 from West, 9 from East) allowed inside the bubble. The games were being played in three different arenas at the complex. There was minimal media exposure, only NBA personnel, a couple of sponsors, and no fans.
The players lived in three different hotels at Disney World, the Gran Destino Tower at Coronado Springs, Grand Floridian, and the Yacht and Beach Club. Players and coaches had to move all of their belongings and practically live in these hotel rooms for three months. Upon arriving at the NBA bubble, every coach and player had to self-isolate in their rooms for up to 48 hours and show two negative COVID-19 tests. The NBA has stated that “Players get tested regularly, but it is not specified how often. We know it could even be daily based on circumstances given.” They had no privilege to be able to see family members. However, later in the season, the bubble was allowing guests inside under certain circumstances and protocols. Potential guests must self-quarantine for a week before they were allowed access inside. The guests who made it inside the NBA bubble had to have daily COVID-19 testing for four days. Each guest was allowed one ticket per playoff game, including an additional ticket available for children 32 inches or shorter. The rules and guidelines were implemented to keep everyone safe, no matter what.
If a player tested positive, the period of treatment and isolation was a minimum of 14 days. Then they use the video camera history to see who had been in contact with that person for at least 15 minutes or had direct contact and must be tested as well. The CDC’s guidelines stated that “A player who tests positive and is eventually cleared to come back must go through cardiac screening either two weeks after the first positive test or two weeks after his symptoms clear. The player needs to pass the cardiac screening before he can return to play.”
I had the opportunity to interview two NBA fans and get their opinions on the NBA season, incorporating certain aspects from the bubble. Josh Musser (12) said, “I thought it was a good idea considering throughout the rest of the season they had no positive COVID tests, in tribute to the sanitization and precautionary measures they all took.” Coach Kourtney, Math, stated, “ Historically the NBA has always been at the forefront, the way they do things is phenomenal. They took care of the players and kept them safe. The bubble was more convenient for the fans than the players because the players couldn’t see their family. However, there was no home-court advantage, but in the light of the times we are in, I don’t see how it could have gone any better.” In conclusion, the NBA bubble was a fantastic idea, and it kept everyone who followed the guidelines safe. It allowed the NBA 2020 season to start and finish while keeping people safe, adapting to the “new normal.”