The Last Dance is over, and just as despair started to kick in, great news from Disney World! For some time now, Las Vegas and Disney World were two leading candidates for the bubble scenario in which the NBA season would return. It seems Mickey Mouse is coming to the rescue.
In addition to this information, Adrian Wojnarowski and Zach Lowe reported that teams expect the NBA to issue guidelines around June 1 to start recalling players who left their markets (for instance, Luka Dončić back from Slovenia) and loosen up the rules about workouts in teams practice facilities.
These are steps forward in returning the season in Orlando, and Disney World as the location for the safety bubble. One of the crucial moments in the past weeks was commissioner Adam Silver making it clear players have to agree to play even if someone tests positive. We’ve also got the news that makes it seem that the majority of players are OK with that.
Jared Dudley talked to Dave McMenamin and said that the conversation the league and player’s union had developed in the direction of a soft bubble. Players would be allowed to leave the bubble, but face the risk of contracting the virus. Every time a player would return to Disney World, they would get tested, and a positive test would eliminate them from further play. A necessary compromise because, as Dudley pointed out, every team has a Dennis Rodman – someone who’d fly to Vegas for a half day. It probably won’t be the stars.
“Bron, AD, and all the top guys we have, we’ll be wrapping them in a bubble and not letting them go anywhere. You’ll have that be a team rule. Now, it won’t be a league, an NBA rule, but you’d want to say, ‘Listen, guys, we’ve come too far. We’re going to put our family on hold.’”Jared Dudley, ESPN
Families will be able to come and stay with players inside the bubble, and we can assume, participate in regular testing. This compromise is more likely an incentive for players on teams that don’t have a realistic chance to win the Larry O’. I can’t see LeBron or Giannis being cool with anyone from their teams taking a party break.
All things considered, this is as good of news as we can hope for. Unless you read a significant breakthrough has happened in developing a vaccine, this is the pace at which the league’s return will happen. The dates mentioned here imply we could be watching NBA games sometime before the end of July if there are no major speed bumps on the road ahead.