NBA Reportedly Considering Keeping Reporters in Disney Bubble For Nearly Four Months

Liam McKeone
Basketball / Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Over the next month, the NBA will have to figure out the numerous complicated logistics that come along with creating a "bubble" environment safe enough to host 22 teams' worth of players and personnel. While it's probably decently far down the list, what kind of media availability will be granted is certainly one of them.

The Daily Beast acquired a memo from Josh Robbins, head of the Pro Basketball Writers Association, sent to NBA writers explaining the negotiations currently taking place between the writers' guild and the league. While nothing is set in stone yet, right now the NBA is considering allowing two tiers of reporters to cover games in person. The second tier of reporters would be allowed to attend the games taking place, but can have no face-to-face contact with any team members and cannot enter the premises where the teams will be staying.

The first tier would be allowed as full access as one could hope in the midst of a global pandemic, but there's a caveat. From the Daily Beast:

"The first, smaller tier would reside “in the bubble,” Robbins wrote. Once they are brought into this contained environment, first-tier reporters would be tested daily, and permitted to interact with players and coaches. “This group will have the most access,” he added, “but will work under far greater restrictions than we are used to under normal conditions.” They would not be allowed to re-enter if they break quarantine at any point over the months-long resumption of play. Members of the press would be fed, though their housing expenses would not be covered by the NBA nor their Disney hosts, making the price tag "cost-prohibitive for most outlets,” the memo stated. "

Daily Beast

Four months of Disney hotel pricing probably means this Tier 1 group is going to be pretty, pretty small. I also can't imagine there are a ton of older reporters with families who would be willing to do that for over three months.

But, for the media members who truly only eat, breathe, and sleep basketball (and who work for a big enough organization that could cover their cost of living), this is perfect. It's easy to imagine getting sick of the whole arrangement by September, where there will only be one or two games a day and then you're stuck with little to do, but for the month of August where it's a packed schedule, it could be a lot of fun.

The most interesting nugget, however, is that these reporters would get tested every day for coronavirus. If that is accurate, that means the NBA has the means to test not only the people required to put the games on, but also media members, who are important but not technically essential to putting on a game of basketball when it comes down to it. We haven't heard a lot about the league's plan for testing, but if they can test everybody on site every night, that would ease a lot of fears about the whole endeavor.