The NBA season is expected to resume in late July. There’s only one problem: COVID-19.
The number of coronavirus cases is beginning to spike in certain states, including Florida, which creates another level of uncertainty as The Association prepares to restart its 2019-20 campaign at Walt Disney World in Orlando.
Still, it appears the NBA is pressing on with an eye toward bringing basketball back into everyone’s lives.
“The best phrase to describe where the NBA is at with all this is ‘too big to fail,’ ” NBA insider Chris Mannix explained Thursday on 98.5 The Sports Hub’s “Felger & Mazz.” “They’re going down (to Orlando) come hell or high water, and it would take something catastrophic or a seismic shift in the number of players that are going to go for them to stop.”
The NBA has established detailed health and safety protocols in an effort to stop the spread of COVID-19 within its “bubble” environment. There’s evidently some angst around the league, however, as several general managers anonymously voiced their concerns to The Athletic and multiple players aren’t planning on returning when the season tips off for the first time since mid March.
But again, the NBA doesn’t appear to be taking its foot off the gas. The league, led by commissioner Adam Silver, cleared a lot of hurdles for the 22-team “bubble” format to become a reality, and it sounds like there’s no turning back, for better or worse, despite recent developments related to the coronavirus.
“I know players right now that are contemplating the next move here,” Mannix said. ” … But if the NBA’s going to go down there, they believe in their bubble, they believe in the structural integrity of their bubble, and we’re full steam ahead for late July.”
The NBA is coming, coronavirus be damned.