As the number of coronavirus cases spikes in central Florida, concern around the league about the ability to pull off the NBA’s restart on a Walt Disney World campus rises along with it.
The league’s pat response is along the lines of what Magic CEO Alex Martins told the Orlando Sentinel: Once inside the bubble players will be safe.
“A lot of time and effort has been put into the safety protocols,” said Magic CEO Alex Martins. “We’re confident that the protocols that are in place will keep everybody on the Disney campus confined and amongst each other, and with little to no exposure of anyone else from the community. So in saying that, I’m confident that we have a safe plan in place and that despite the recent rise in cases in Florida that it will be a safe environment for all of our players, coaches and staff that are at Disney.”
“In fact, given the rise in cases in states, I have every reason to believe the setup we have in Orlando will be safer for our players and travel parties than staying in their respective cities.”
Michelle Roberts, the executive director of the players’ union, noted there is no safe place to go in the United States right now to form a bubble, it’s all about controlling the risk.
All of which sounds great if you’re not the person going into the bubble, but for those that are there are legitimate health and safety questions. Ones without easy answers when weighed with time away from family, concerns about the impact on the Black Lives Matter movement, serious financial considerations, and more.
For the next couple of weeks, all eyes will be on the number of coronavirus cases and the infection rates in and around the Disney property in Orlando.
Coronavirus positive test rates in Orange County, Florida – the Orlando area, near the soon-to-be-home of NBA and MLS at Disney's ESPN complex.
April 11-24: 4.4%
April 25-May 8: 1.4%
May 9-22: 0.9%
May 23-June 5: 2.2%
June 6-June 15: 5.0%
June 16-20: 17.0%
Source: State data.
— Tim Reynolds (@ByTimReynolds) June 21, 2020