Yesterday, the NBA sent a 113-page memo to its players detailing what life will be like inside “the bubble” at Disney World for the season restart later this summer and it’s fascinating. The league is putting regulations on just about everything, from who is allowed in and what happens if someone tests positive for the coronavirus to what players are allowed to do in their free time, right down to how many people are allowed to play pingpong at once. ESPN has a great rundown, but here are a few of the things that stood out to me:
— Teams will begin arriving at Disney World on July 7 in phases, and once on site, everyone must self-isolate in their hotel rooms for up to 48 hours until they produce two negative COVID-19 tests.
— Teams are being placed into three different hotels based on seed. The top four seeds in each conference (Milwaukee Bucks, Los Angeles Lakers, LA Clippers, Toronto Raptors, Denver Nuggets, Utah Jazz, Boston Celtics and Miami Heat) will be at the Gran Destino Tower while teams seeded 5-8 in each conference (Indiana Pacers, Philadelphia 76ers, Nets, Orlando Magic, Houston Rockets, Oklahoma City Thunder, Dallas Mavericks and Memphis Grizzlies) will stay at the Grand Floridian. The six current non-playoff teams (Washington Wizards, Portland Trail Blazers, New Orleans Pelicans, San Antonio Spurs, Sacramento Kings and Phoenix Suns) will stay at the Yacht Club.
— Masks are required indoors except while eating or in individual rooms. They are not required for outdoor activities.
— Games will take place at three different arenas with limited media, team executives, league and union personnel, and sponsors allowed in. Players will spread out over two rows of seating.
— If a player leaves the campus without prior approval (family emergencies, the birth of a child, a previously scheduled family wedding, etc.), they will have to quarantine for 10-14 days and undergo deep nasal testing as opposed to shallow nasal or shallow oral testing.
— At the start, each team be allowed to have 37 people on campus, which will include up to 17 players as well as support staff (coaches, trainers, strength coaches, equipment managers, security and front-office personnel, and a mental health professional). As teams advance in the playoffs, they’ll be allowed to swap out members of the travel party. After the first round of the playoffs is completed, each of the eight remaining teams will be allowed to reserve between 15 and 17 hotel rooms for player guests. To be allowed onto campus, guests will have to self-quarantine for a week, then quarantine and be tested at least every other day for three days in either the home market or outside of the NBA’s campus in Orlando. Anyone who tests positive during this period won’t be allowed to enter the NBA campus.
— Players’ lounges will be set up at each hotel with TVs, video games, card tables, pingpong and other recreational activities. No doubles in pingpong for social distancing reasons and new packs will be used for each session of card games. Players will be required to wear face masks if they play poker. Players and staff will also be allowed to use pools, trails, and golf courses (no caddies). Team-sponsored outings such as privatized restaurants, boating, bowling, fishing and golf will be available.
— Each team will have a dedicated Disney culinary team “to create individualized team menus, support team dietary needs, and ensure health and safety guidelines are followed,” and players will get three freshly-prepared meals per day, four on game days
— Players will have the option to wear a “proximity alarm” that will notify them if they spend more than five seconds within 6 feet of another person on campus who is wearing an alarm. This is optional for players and possibly referees; it will be mandatory for all team and league staff members. Players also will be allowed to wear a smart ring that could help with early detection of COVID-19. The rings will track temperature, respiratory and heart rate, among other measurements.
— Anyone on campus can report rules violations via an anonymous hotline, through their teams, or the players’ association. #Snitches
— Players will be tested for performance-enhancing drugs and masking agents, but NOT recreational drugs, although they are being advised that marijuana is illegal in Florida and banned at Disney World.
As many as 20 former Kentucky players will take part in the Orlando restart. Who will handle life inside the bubble the best?