The NBA has reportedly been exploring the idea of resuming its 2019/20 season in a single “bubble” city in which all teams would compete and all players would temporarily live. While Las Vegas has been frequently cited as the most logical spot for it, Keith Smith of Yahoo Sports makes the case that another location would work even better.
As Smith explains, Walt Disney World near Orlando, Florida has more than enough hotel rooms to accommodate up to 30 NBA teams, and the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex is capable of housing several, broadcast-ready basketball courts.
Furthermore, Smith notes, the NBA has an existing broadcast with Disney, which owns ABC and ESPN; Walt Disney World is private property, which would be useful in creating the necessary “bubble”; and professional sports have recently been dubbed “essential services” in Florida by Governor Ron DeSantis, creating a smoother path to games than the NBA might have in other states.
Here are a few more notes on the coronavirus situation and the NBA’s hiatus:
- Aaron Portzline of The Athletic spoke to a handful of doctors about the steps that will need to be taken before professional sports can be resumed and before games can once again be played in front of fans. The three doctors who spoke to Portzline agreed that we’re a long ways off from resuming large-scale gatherings, but suggested that tangible progress could be made with widespread testing for COVID-19 and for antibodies.
- The NBA and WNBA have launched a line of cloth face coverings featuring the logos of all 30 NBA and 12 WNBA teams, as Eric Woodyard of ESPN details. Proceeds from the sales of the apparel, which is available on the leagues’ websites, will benefit hunger relief organizations.
- Former NBA swingman Sonny Weems, who is currently under contract with the Guangdong Southern Tigers in China, talked to Vivek Jacob of Sportsnet.ca about his experience with the coronavirus pandemic, including traveling back to the United States when the CBA season was suspended and then returning to China when it appeared the league would start back up in the spring. The CBA’s resumption has been postponed until at least July, as Weems remains in China.