After the Players Union unanimously supported the return in Orlando, news of players skeptical of showing up started surfacing. Risk of COVID-19 and social issues was at the forefront, but a significant number had reservations about the quarantine rules and limitations they would have to abide by. Let’s see what the fuss was about.
Arriving at Disney World
Upon arrival between July 7th and 9th, everyone must stay isolated in their rooms until they have two negative PCP tests 24 hours apart. Facemasks are mandatory for everyone on campus except when eating, working out/playing, and in their rooms (obviously). Random anti-drug testing will resume but only for SPEDs and diuretics. Players won’t get tested for recreational drugs, but are reminded recreational use of marijuana in Florida is not legal.
Assuming arrival and preliminary tests go well, teams will start training camps. At this point, the assumption is a safe bubble environment has been created, so group workouts and activities will begin at this point. Players can socialize with everyone staying in their hotel, but can’t do so in individual rooms.
Each team will have a Disney chef at their disposal to prepare meals in coordination with the team. At his own expense, a player is permitted to hire a personal chef located outside of the NBA Campus to prepare and send food into the NBA Campus daily.
If a player leaves the campus, he will be submitted to enhanced testing (including the unpleasant deep nasal swab), and a 10-14 day self-quarantine period. If a player misses games due to safety concerns caused by leaving the campus, he won’t get paid for those games.
Teams will play three scrimmage games against other NBA teams residing in their same hotel.
Return to play
Teams will play 8 “seeding” games to conclude the 2019-20 regular season, followed by a play-in tournament (if necessary) for the 8th seed in each conference, and the traditional 16-team, 4-round, 7-game NBA Playoffs.
Once their team is eliminated, players and staff will immediately depart the NBA Campus. For each player to leave the NBA Campus, he must have returned a negative PCR result within 24 hours of his scheduled departure.
When we get to the second round of the playoffs, there will be enough available accommodation for family and friends. At that point, each team can reserve up to 17 (if the team brings 17 players and down to 15 if it brings only 15 players) guest rooms for guests of players on the NBA Campus.
Each guest first has to self-quarantine for three days either in a house or hotel in the team’s home market or in Orlando outside of the NBA Campus. If they test negative, they can come to the campus where they will be in quarantine for four days after arrival while having COVID-19 testing each of those days. Player guests that leave the campus will not be permitted to return.
One of the main concerns was how many hotels would players be in and how those hotels would be selected. The answers are three hotels and based on seeding.
Gran Destino: Bucks, Lakers, Raptors, Clippers, Celtics, Nuggets, Jazz, Heat
Grand Floridian: Thunder, 76ers, Rockets, Pacers, Mavericks, Nets, Grizzlies, Magic
Yacht Club: Blazers, Kings, Pelicans, Spurs, Suns, Wizards
What to do when workouts are done? Players will have plenty of options, including hotel amenities (players-only lounge (NBA 2K, TVs, gaming), pool/trails, barbers, manicurists, pedicurists), and a 24-hours VIP concierge service. In addition, there will be movie screenings, DJ sets, video games, ping pong, pool, lawn games. There are rumors players, and their guests will get exclusive screenings of unreleased Disney movies such as Marvel’s Black Widow.
The most important news here is that players will be allowed to attend other games. So we might hear a lot of trash talking on the court, what coaches and refs are saying, and other players contributing from the bleachers.
If only Draymond Green were someone’s guest.