Amidst the pandemic, the NBA season will resume within two weeks from now, July 31. However, two weeks before the resume of the season, two players of NBA were reported to be positive for coronavirus. It was during the quarantine period in the Orlando bubble. As of the moment, they were sent home to be isolated or to some housing-isolation.
The bubble-like facility in Disney is one of the NBA’s contingency plans to fight their greatest opponent for this season, which is the coronavirus. This plan is to limit the chance of losing from the virus. According to the NBA’s COVID protocol - only players and staff who are tested negative can enter the bubble.
Even if health and safety protocols were established, many players are still hesitant about joining their teams. Some of the players already decided to withdraw their participation in this season. Their reason for withdrawing is mostly because of health and family matter.
Outnumbering the players who opted out from playing, 322 NBA players are still up for the game. The players need to be tested negative before going to Florida. Then, upon arriving, they had to test negative again to proceed with the game.
The health and safety protocols of the NBA team and Disney staffs don’t just end there. They test the players every other day to ensure that they are COVID-free. And to protect the community inside the bubble.
On July 7, upon testing the 322 players, only two were positive and could be a good sign for the league’s season. The result could mean that the safety and health protocols they’ve established are working for the NBA.
However, there is no assurance if good progress will continue. The decision to start the season can still vary. It depends on the result of the efforts of the Player’s Association and the public officials of Disney.
Apart from the two players who have tested positive the forward of Houston Rockets’ Russell Westbrook got the virus too. Though, he hasn’t come to Orlando yet for the game. He will wait for his progress and wait for his medical certification, stated in his tweet.
In the middle of the quarantine period of the players, there have been suspected violators of the protocols. Richaun Holmes of Sacramento Kings obtained eight more days of the quarantine period. He was falsely accused of leaving the bubble after he tries to claim his food delivery.
NBA is not the only one who’s struggling about the restart of the game. Other Major professional sports leagues are also having problems because of the coronavirus. Teams are withdrawing as players were tested positive, and matches as well were postponed.
This season will be a lot more difficult for the players because their opponent is not just other teams, but also the coronavirus who’s quite competitive.