NBA commission Adam Silver warned that everyone involved must be comfortable with some positive coronavirus tests in the bubble.
So far, there have been none.
SI: The bubble—sorry, the campus—is operational. Is it what you hoped it would be?
AS: It’s better than what we had envisioned. Players have taken to it in a more spirited way than we thought they would. We knew that this would require enormous sacrifice on everyone’s part, but I think that what is hard to calibrate—and this maybe goes to my experience when I first came into the arena—is the human emotion that comes with being around other people. And I think everyone realized they missed it more than they even understood. There are players either whose teams are not participating, who were unable to engage this summer because of injuries or other issues, who, once they spoke to fellow NBA players, have asked to join the experience down in Orlando.
People generally enjoy being around other people. Basketball players like to play basketball.
The NBA bubble has made those activities – otherwise dangerous due to coronavirus – sufficiently safe.
That surely must be fulfilling for participating players (even if the reason for the whole operation is money, not fulfillment).
But I wonder whether there’s a level of “grass is greener on the other side” from the players who asked to join. The bubble participants are away from their families and friends for at least a month, longer if their team advances. That’s easier to accept in theory without actually experiencing it.