Stephen A. Smith: NBA Should Move Bubble to New York City

Stephen A. Smith
Stephen A. Smith /

There is a lot of justifiable worry about the NBA's plans to resume their season down in Orlando on Disney's grounds. Those have only been amplified after the last two weeks have shown a big spike in positive coronavirus tests in Florida. The league seems committed to the path at this point, however unwise that may prove to be.

First Take discussed the issue of safety in Florida on Monday and Stephen A. Smith came swooping in with a bold suggestion: the NBA should go through with its restart plan, but in New York City rather than Orlando.

The foundation of Smith's point is that NYC was hit the hardest out of any major city in the U.S. by COVID-19 and has gotten things under control better than anyone. He also notes the state's leadership, headed by Andrew Cuomo, can be trusted to ensure it stays that way, a stark contrast to how Florida governor Ron DeSantis has chosen to handle the coronavirus.

Smith does not, however, have any solutions to the myriad problems Jay Williams presented, such as how logistically difficult it would be to change course this late in the game or how players might feel about such a drastic decision. The only clear advantages New York City has over Orlando is significant drops in positive coronavirus tests and two NBA courts to play on.

As Williams notes, the biggest issue with moving to a city is being able to create a bubble environment at all. There are plenty of hotels for teams to stay at in New York, but that's it. The Orlando bubble will have enough of a campus that players can walk around and not be confined to their rooms, which is basically what would have to happen if the league wanted to do this in New York City.

Orlando is as good as it's going to get unless Adam Silver wanted to get really creative and find some middle-of-nowhere rural town that has a few gyms and enough hotels in an hour or so radius to host everyone. A big city like New York is totally out of the question because it's impossible to make a bubble environment players would find acceptable. And it would come with far more variables than what the current setup looks like.

It's too late to change course now. The NBA has to execute the plan it has in place. Then all that's left is to hope it's enough.