Heading Into An Isolation Of Sorts

The NBA needs to halt the COVID-19 spread among its personnel.

The National Basketball Association is in a COVID-19 moving bubble. NBA players, coaches and staff members have to quarantine at their home or hotel in between practices and games through January 26th at the earliest. The NBA has postponed a handful of games because some teams reported some players had COVID-19 positive tests. The NBA Commissioner Adam Silver knew getting through this season was going to be a difficult task but the games went on because there is money to be made from television and marketing partners. Silver and his owners along with the players association are trying to stop the spread of the virus throughout the league. Silver and the NBA got through the remainder of the 2020 season by playing games in isolation in a Central Florida location. This season, the league decided to try and play games in home markets. But one jurisdiction, Ontario said no to the Toronto Raptors management making the case to play games in the Ontario city. Raptors games were moved to Tampa and at first, customers were allowed inside the Tampa building, but with the growing numbers of COVID-19 cases in Florida a decision was made to keep customers out of the arena.

NBA personnel cannot interact with anyone outside of their household when at home. On the road, they cannot interact with any non-team guests at the hotel. Teams can hold pre-game meetings in the locker room for no more than 10 minutes, and all other meetings have to take place on a court or in a room large enough to maintain social distancing. For games, players cannot arrive at the arena more than three hours before tipoff and must limit interactions before and after the game to elbow and fist bumps while maintaining social distancing and limited conversations. The NBA is trying to play through COVID-19.

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An empty court and bench are shown with no signage following the scheduled start time in Game 5 of an NBA basketball first-round playoff series, Wednesday, Aug. 26, 2020, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. NBA players made their strongest statement yet against racial injustice Wednesday when the Milwaukee Bucks didn’t take the floor for their playoff game against the Orlando Magic.(Kevin C. Cox/Pool Photo via AP)