The NBA will have a strict set of rules in place for players and staff to adhere to once the 2019-20 season resumes at the Walt Disney Resort in Orlando, Fla. later this month.
But if you ask Damian Lillard, players probably won’t follow them as much as they probably should.
“My confidence ain’t great,” the Portland Trail Blazers star said Wednesday, per ESPN’s Royce Young. “My confidence ain’t great because you’re telling me you’re gonna have 22 teams full of players following all the rules? When we have 100 percent freedom, everybody don’t follow all the rules. I don’t have much confidence. But hopefully it’ll be handled to a point where we’re not putting everybody at risk or in a dangerous position.”
Among some of the new health and safety protocols players will have to follow include a ban on ordering food from off-campus, limitations on where they can dine and who they can dine with and even prohibiting players from entering another’s bedroom. Though players will be allowed to leave campus, they’ll be encouraged not to do so, unless they want to quarantine themselves for the next 10-14 days.
That said, Lillard doesn’t think the NBA can guarantee an entirely healthy bubble environment once play resumes, though noting it is a safer option than traveling as cases spike across the United States.
“The fact that we’re going to be in a bubble, it kind of knocks it down and limits the chance of us being exposed to everybody else outside the bubble in Orlando,” Lillard said, per Young. “I think it is a safer situation. But I don’t think it’s possible for them to protect us 100 percent. I think everybody’s going there understanding that.”
Sounds like things in Florida could get even more interesting in July than they are now, as the state continues to record exorbitant numbers of COVID-19 cases each day.