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Clippings: The NBA bubble is working

The league appears to have the health of its personnel under control. Now comes the basketball product.

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2020 NBA Restart - All Access Practice Photo by Jim Poorten/NBAE via Getty Images

The most critical juncture of the NBA’s Disney World experiment was always going to be the first few days. Could the league keep the coronavirus out of the bubble? And if the virus somehow got to Orlando, would the league be able to flush it out before it spread?

The answer to that second question appears to be “yes.”

There were some nervy times when it was reported that two players had tested positive for the coronavirus on July 13, threatening the integrity of the league’s set-up and calling into question its safety protocol considering every individual had to have two negative tests before being allowed into the NBA bubble. However, since then, there have been zero positive tests among players, per a release from the league. That likely means that the two positive tests were erroneous, and that the player pool is virus-free.

By no means is the league out of the woods yet. League personnel are still coming into contact with Disney cast members who are not being tested, though those interactions remain as socially distant as possible. Furthermore, there remains the risk that someone will break the bubble and bring the virus in.

For now, the procedures appear to be working. Players for the most part (looking at you, Dwight Howard) are following the restrictions of the campus site, and those who have broken the rules have been punished. The success of the NWSL bubble in Utah and even MLS, which was forced to send two teams home, has no positives through the last four rounds of testing.

We don’t yet know if this environment will be conducive to high-level basketball, but the players and staff are healthy, and that’s a good place to start.

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