The NBA announced as of Tuesday night what the plans are going to be for Orlando, Florida when the NBA returns at the Walt Disney Resort Studios on July 30th. However, the players have until June 24th to tell their teams if they are going to be reporting or not.
According to Shams Charania and Sam Amick, “The NBA will create an anonymous hotline to report potential violations of protocols in Orlando.”
Teams are going to have to stay in the bubble once they get down to Orlando. Also, there will be other guidelines if someone does test positive for the coronavirus. Those guidelines are they must enter immediate isolation/separate location – “Isolation Housing”, Retest to confirm positive, and Exit isolation after consecutive negative tests and return to activities.
Also, according to Shams, “Per NBA health and safety protocols for return: All players, team staff and guests will be required to certify in writing that they will adhere to all pre-arrival rules and league rules while on campus.” The failure to comply with protocols subjects a player to potential discipline such as warning, fine, suspension, and/or removal from campus.
According to sources, refs will not be required to wear masks. The NBA will also have two rows on the bench. The first row will feature players and coaches, no mask is required, but recommended that coaches were masks. In the second row, it will feature other players and coaches and those people must wear masks unless it is an active player.
Teams in Orlando are also going to have access to a ton of attractions as well during their time there. Some of the hotel amenities include a players-only lounge (NBA 2K, TV, gaming), pools/trails, barbers, manicurists, and pedicurists. There will also be a 24-hour VIP concierge.
Some of the daily entertainment will include Movie screenings, DJ sets, video games, ping pong, pool, and lawn games.
Also, players can attend other games. Also, according to sources, NBA teams have been informed of required positions for 35-person traveling party: athletic trainer, strength/conditioning coach; equipment manager; team security official. Each team can include a player’s private personal trainer, massage therapist or security.
Not all of the 22 teams are going to stay at the same hotel. It is going to be divided by seeding. The top four teams in each conference get one hotel, the 5-8 seeds get another hotel, and the bottom tier teams get another hotel.
The Milwaukee Bucks, the Los Angeles Lakers, the Toronto Raptors, the Los Angeles Clippers, the Boston Celtics, the Denver Nuggets, the Utah Jazz, and the Miami Heat will be staying at the Grand Destino Hotel.
The Oklahoma City Thunder, the Philadelphia 76ers, the Houston Rockets, the Indiana Pacers, the Dallas Mavericks, the Brooklyn Nets, the Memphis Grizzlies, and the Orlando Magic will be staying at the Grand Floridian Hotel.
The Portland Trail Blazers, the Sacramento Kings, the New Orleans Pelicans, the San Antonio Spurs, the Phoenix Suns, and the Washington Wizards will be staying at the Yacht Club Hotel.
When games begin, there will also be a schedule that teams will have to follow. There will be eight regular-season games for the 22 teams before the playoffs begin. On game day, the schedule home team will have more of a break before the game than the road team.
Teams will also be only available to speak to the media for only 30 minutes after the game is over. We are getting closer and closer for the games to start. This is an exciting time for NBA fans right now.
I don’t think anyone is going to really care much about the regular season, but the playoffs are what we are all waiting for. The NBA Playoffs are the heartbeat of the NBA season. It could be an unpredictable ride to the postseason.
Players will also not be allowed to leave the bubble unless it is for unforeseen circumstances. Other than that, this is going to be exciting and we can not wait for it. Players are going to give it their all in order to win a championship. The question is, which stars will show up and which ones won’t? That is a question that will most likely be answered when the games begin.
What do you think of the NBA releasing its plans for Orlando? Leave a comment below.
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Follow Glenn Kaplan on Twitter @glennkaplan13.