The concerns surrounding the NBA’s return in Orlando this coming July 31st is not slowing down. It has even resulted into a handful of players opting out of the restart.
After all, America is still continuing to get permeated by COVID-19, especially Florida, where the return is to take place.
The ‘bubble’ plan would require teams to be under one secluded resort with a list of strict guidelines for possibly three months. The alert level on the pandemic is high and the circumstances they are in is something new, so it’s understandably anxiety-inducing for some.
If you ask the Mark Cuban, though, you’d probably be more encouraged than anything. The outspoken owner of the Dallas Mavericks has a firm belief about the entire protocol – as he probably should, since he’s part of the overall planning and his team will be in the bubble.
Here’s what he told Dallas Morning News in a recent interview:
“It’s not like a typical arena environment and everything’s exactly the same except the fans aren’t there. It’s the exact opposite. Everything is protected. This is ‘Hotel California’ — you check-in and you do not leave. It’s very specific to health and safety protocols,”
“Why would we go through all this to create a bubble and then just let all the employees that work at the arena or around the arena just come and go as they please? That would defeat the whole purpose.
“Trust me, we’re not going to screw up the whole thing because somebody from room service just went out drinking the night before in Orlando and then went … and gave the virus to somebody. We have gone so overboard in every direction that, honestly, it’s probably — given the ages of everybody — it’s probably safer to be in the bubble than it is to be at home in Dallas or any city.”
Aside from the meticulous guidelines and top-notch medical support, the NBA is also putting forth a host of amenities for the players and coaches.
It’s an intriguing list, one could very well help counter the mental challenges of being inside a bubble and dealing with the intense stress of the NBA playoffs.
In NBA's ORL campus:— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) June 16, 2020
– Hotel amenities: players-only lounge (NBA 2K, TVs, gaming), pool/trails, barbers, manicurists, pedicurists
– 24-hour VIP concierge
– Daily entertainment: Movie screenings, DJ sets, video games, ping pong, pool, lawn games
– Players can attend other games
Cuban’s Mavs are currently seventh in the Western Conference with a 40-27 record, and they look to move up to avoid a first-round match-up with the LA Clippers. They have a pretty balanced schedule ahead, with games against four sub-.500 teams and four strong playoff contenders.