The last of the 22 teams headed for Orlando will arrive today, but concerns remain about whether the NBA’s attempt to finish its season will be successful, writes Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPN. The idea of keeping so many players and staff members protected in a controlled environment remains daunting, as commissioner Adam Silver admitted this week.
“We won’t be surprised when they first come down to Orlando if we have some additional players test positive,” Silver said in an interview with Fortune Brainstorm Health. “What would be most concerning is once players enter this campus and then go through our quarantine period, then if they were to test positive or if we were to have any positive tests, we would know we would have an issue.
“We would know that there’s in essence a hole in our bubble or that our quarantine or our campus is not working in some way,” he added later. “So that would be very concerning.”
Six teams were forced to shut down their practice facilities over the past week after positive coronavirus tests among their travel groups. Silver admits a significant number of positive tests in Orlando could lead to another shutdown of the season.
There’s more news related to the restart:
- One frequently raised concern is that some Disney workers won’t be subject to the same testing requirements as NBA personnel, but Magic CEO Alex Martins doesn’t expect that to be an issue, Youngmisuk adds in the same story. “I don’t have that concern because we’ve been assured by Disney and by the NBA that our players coaches and staff will not come in direct contact with any of those employees at Disney,” Martins said. “Whether they be food and beverage employees, or whether they be housekeeping employees, specific protocols have been put in place so that they’re really not coming into contact with each other at all. And because of that, I have the utmost confidence that there won’t be any interaction there.”
- Players across the league seem to have remained in shape during the long layoff, notes Baxter Holmes of ESPN. However, there’s still work to do to get them ready for the rigors of NBA games. “Imagine not playing 5-on-5, not getting hit, not getting hit in the air and landing — all those little details that are so critical to your brain, [to] your central nervous system,” said physical therapist Fabrice Gautie, who has worked with many NBA players.
- The NBA is responding after several players already in Orlando shared photos of their meals on social media, which were compared to airline food, writes Gabriel Fernandez of CBS Sports. “After clearing quarantine, players will also have access to various restaurants on campus and delivery options to choose from,” a league spokesman said. “Players will receive three meals a day and four meals on game days. There is never a shortage of food options – players can always request additional food by speaking with their team nutritionists.”