NBA players have voiced concerns about the safety of the NBA’s proposed campus/bubble on the Walt Disney World property in Florida.
They are not alone — team staff headed to the NBA’s restart in Orlando have their own worries, and that is playing out at team facilities around the league. Team General Managers find themselves having to reassure staff members headed to the bubble, reports Baxter Holmes at ESPN.
Some of the concerned are at an age with higher risk and/or have underlying health issues.
These GMs, speaking on the condition of anonymity, have separately said they’ve tried to tell such staffers — and relayed to virtually their entire staff — that they shouldn’t feel any pressure to attend if they don’t feel comfortable for any reason and that they shouldn’t feel insecure about their jobs if they’re unable to attend…
Concerns have also been heightened because of the surging case numbers in Florida; coronavirus cases have increased about fivefold in the past two weeks.
Those are all legitimate concerns — the rising number of coronavirus cases has caught the eye of players and Commissioner Adam Silver. Much like players should have the option not to attend the restart for personal or health reasons, so should staff members. While players fit the profile of people least likely to develop serious complications from COVID-19 — young and healthy — that is not always the case for staff, who tend to be older and more likely to have underlying conditions.
Team’s traveling parties have shrunk for Orlando. Most teams bring 45-50 people in their traveling party during a typical season, but in Orlando teams need to be around 35. That only is going to mean more work for the people staying in the bubble.
Much like the players, most team staff ultimately will go, but they will do so with one eye open.