Most of the participants at the NBA’s restart Orlando have already arrived, but a few big names have yet to be confirmed.
According to a report from Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald, Miami Heat center Bam Adebayo did not make the initial trip to the Orlando bubble with the rest of the organization. Adebayo’s teammate, Goran Dragic, told Jackson on July 10–which was the team’s first day practice since March 10–that the former Wildcat was absent from the bubble.
“Hopefully Bam can come and K-Nunn and we can be a whole team and make some damage,” Dragic told Jackson. “Some guys are not here. We are eager, expecting them to come, hopefully to be healthy and we can all start practicing together.”
Since the team began mandatory testing back on June 23, three members of the Heat have tested positive for COVID-19 and the most recent two did not have their names disclosed. No one from within the Heat franchise has announced why Adebayo is not with the rest of the team. Another Heat player, rookie Kendrick Nunn, is not with the team, either.
As of Monday, July 13, NBC Sports reporter Tom Haberstroh tweeted out that both Adebayo and fellow All-Star James Harden of the Houston Rockets were the two biggest names yet to announce why they have not joined the rest of the league in Orlando. Harden’s teammate, Russell Westbrook announced on Monday that he had tested positive.
Russell Westbrook is the fourth All-Star, along with Nikola Jokic, Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert, to have tested positive for coronavirus this season. Two more All-Stars, James Harden and Bam Adebayo, have not joined the bubble for undisclosed reasons. https://t.co/3ApRtJOxyP
— Tom Haberstroh (@tomhaberstroh) July 13, 2020
Overall, the league’s low number of positive tests has been a good sign for the early stages of the NBA’s bubble idea. Teams began arriving on July 9 and continued to do so throughout the following two days. Those that hadn’t arrived were being quarantined after testing positive. Now, players are officially locked into the bubble and are under strict quarantine guidelines that they must follow in order to stay active (just ask Sacramento Kings center, Richaun Holmes, what happens if you disobey the bubble rules).
While we don’t know for sure that Adebayo was one of the three Heat players to test positive, we can put two and two together. His status for the NBA’s return will be critical if Miami wants to make a surprise run in the playoffs–which they have the talent to do.