Some NBA teams are reportedly pushing the league to select a second site for games as fears rise over the ability to resume the season even within a “bubble” at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida.
As The Athletic reported, the eight teams not playing in Orlando are “pushing hard” for the NBA to select another site for games to take place. This comes amid growing concerns over whether the league can safely hold games and prevent outbreaks at the same time.
The state of Florida has seen some of the sharpest infection increases in the nation, with close to 10,000 new coronavirus cases being reported on Saturday. That has led the state to roll back some of the openings that had already taken place, including banning alcohol consumption at bars. This has resulted in uncertainty about the restart of the NBA season, which has been on hiatus since March and is set to resume with a truncated regular season at the end of July.
There have been growing fears over the NBA’s ability to conduct a season in a state that is seeing a sharp rise in coronavirus cases, especially after a number of players have already tested positive for COVID-19 in the last week. This week, the league addressed those fears, with commissioner Adam Silver saying that if there were to be a significant outbreak during the season, it could lead to another play stoppage.
The league is attempting to put strict measures in place to prevent infections or the spread of the virus. As ESPN reported, the NBA is trying its best to eliminate contact between players and Disney staff, and planning to use strict security to enforce its health and safety protocols.
“NBA locations in Orlando, Florida, also will have secured perimeters, technological security deployments and a ‘fusion center’ approach to threat intelligence,” the report noted. “In addition, league security will ensure all venues and team hotel campuses are closed to non-credentialed individuals. There will be secure checkpoints, credential control and roving security inside and outside the perimeter of every location in use.”
But even before the season starts, the league has already lost some players over fears and family concerns. Los Angeles Lakers guard Avery Bradley announced that he would not be joining the team in the Orlando bubble, with reports indicating that he was concerned over the health of his son, who has a history of respiratory issues.