By all accounts, the NBA’s Orlando bubble was a rousing success. The league did not postpone any games as a result of coronavirus, and saw no positive tests once players successfully integrated into the bubble.
While the NBA’s plan worked swimmingly — especially compared to MLB — Adam Silver wasn’t a big fan of the Orlando bubble at first. Silver admitted Wednesday that he actually “resisted” holding the rest of the NBA season in a bubble.
Adam Silver's initial feelings about the NBA Bubble in May: "I resisted it, frankly"— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) October 1, 2020
Adam Silver reflects positively on bubble experience
Though he was initially hesitant, Silver eventually came around on the bubble idea. He spent Wednesday reflecting on everything it took to pull off. Silver specifically praised the 6,500 Disney employees who helped make sure the NBA could successfully continue its season.
Adam Silver notes that 6,500 people are servicing the NBA while they are there.— Keith Smith (@KeithSmithNBA) October 1, 2020
Many of those people are Walt Disney World Cast Members.
Disney is in process of laying off 28,000 people, a large number of them at Walt Disney World. Keep those folks in your thoughts.
While Silver said no players tested positive for coronavirus during the bubble, he admitted an undisclosed number of Disney employees who worked in and out of the bubble tested positive.
Silver, though, acknowledged that there have been an undisclosed number of positive tests among the estimated 6,500 workers that have gone in and out of the Bubble to work on the NBA's restricted-access campus— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) October 1, 2020
Silver also shouted out three NBA players for their contributions in making the bubble work.
Adam Silver says plans for 2020-21 NBA season have been discussed
Silver also revealed the NBA has discussed plans for the 2020-21 NBA season. While nothing is finalized yet, Silver said the earliest the season could start is on Dec. 25. He added it was more likely the 2020-21 season would begin in January.
The next NBA season, Adam Silver says tonight, would start on Christmas at the earliest but "more likely January"— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) October 1, 2020
Silver said the NBA is exploring rapid coronavirus testing, and that could lead to fans attending games during the 2020-21 NBA season.
NBA commissioner Adam Silver said rapid COVID testing could potentially make a "big difference" in getting fans into arenas next season.— Joe Vardon (@joevardon) October 1, 2020
While the league has not finalized plans for next season yet, it’s a positive sign that the issue is being discussed. If the NBA Finals extends to seven games, the current season wouldn’t end until Oct. 13.
At that point, the league would have roughly a month or so before teams would have to get together for training camp and preseason games.
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