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.
More news for Tuesday:
- Every team released its full roster for the NBA restart. No surprises for the Clippers, who still expect to have Landry Shamet, Montrezl Harrell, and Ivica Zubac join the team at some point.
- Marcus Morris has made it into the bubble! He practiced today.
- The NBA is working with minority-owned businesses to help cater food for the bubble. The league previously received backlash as all six of its food delivery partners are restaurants owned by Rockets governor Tillman Fertitta.
- Caitlin Cooper has an interesting look at what midrange specialist TJ Warren can learn from Kawhi Leonard.
- More awards ballots: this time from ESPN.
- Some fun stories on life in the NBA bubble: how players are living their lives, how coaches are handling the new challenge, and how staffs are making do with fewer people on site.