NBA Personnel Worried About Season Restart Due to Coronavirus Spread in Florida

As Florida's coronavirus count rises to record heights every day, the NBA must figure out how safely restart its season

NBA Disney Florida
A general view of the ESPN Wide World of Sports entrance outside of Champion stadium on March 23, 2019 in Lake Buena Vista, Florida.
Julio Aguilar/Getty Images

Though the groundwork has been set for a restarted NBA season from Disney’s Wide World of Sports complex in Orlando, the rapid and rising rate of coronavirus spread in Florida is giving personnel across the league pause about the plan to get back on the court.

According to ESPN’s Baxter Holmes and Zach Lowe, NBA commissioner Adam Silver hosted a call with “high-level team executives” to discuss Florida’s rising cases count, which was described as “tense” by a source. In the call, Silver reportedly acknowledged the dangers of the rising count, but expressed confidence in the league’s “bubble concept” as a way to safely restart the season.

The main worry comes from Disney employees who are not quarantining on the NBA campus. Though they may not have direct contact with players, staff such as housekeepers would be bringing in an additional risk. NBPA executive director Michele Roberts said as much, noting that the risk assessment will be ongoing with regards to “third parties” entering the campus:

While we take some solace in knowing our players will not travel commercially to get to Orlando, that access to the campus is severely limited and, of course, all of the other health and safety protocols in place, the numbers will keep our attention. If necessary to add further restrictions respecting those third parties having access to the campus, we will seek to implement them.

As of now, there are no plans to tweak the original set-up for a restarted season, which would see players receive regular tests starting June 23, ahead of joining the campus the week of July 7. If nothing changes, the plan is still to host the first games by the end of July.

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