The NBA's Disney Bubble Plan Still Appears to Be Very Much Up in the Air
The NBA is currently preparing for a return to action at Disney World. As more details emerge, more people involved seem to be voicing completely reasonable concerns, including 40 to 50 players who are already considering staying home. On Thursday, the NBA started leaking exact timelines for each team as if to say, "don't worry, most of you will be home within eight weeks!"
Still, the length of time the players will be in the Disney bubble isn't the most troublesome aspect of the current plan. Some people have noticed that the league is planning to do this in the state of Florida. It might as well still be April in Florida because they're actual worse off than they were two months ago. Via NBC Sports:
"The numbers coming out of central Florida are not trending in the right direction. According to the state health department, there are 2,678 total confirmed cases in Orange County, where Disney World is located, and the numbers are climbing fast. On Wednesday, the state reported 128 new cases in the county, by far the highest in at least 14 days. "
"Orange County’s percent positive rate reached 6.2 percent on Wednesday, the highest in nine days. Last month, the World Health Organization recommended to governments that before reopening, rates of positivity in testing should remain at five percent or lower for at least 14 days. Wednesday marked the second time that the county trespassed that threshold."
Florida set a one-day record on Thursday for positive COVID tests.
In theory, most of the people who work at Disney World live somewhere in Florida, where COVID-19 is spreading with no plan in place to slow it. And there is currently no plan to have Disney food service or Mousekeeping also live inside the NBA bubble for a few months.
And on top of that there is the other huge problem facing America right now. Via Yahoo!:
"The unease about relocating to a quarantined campus during the COVID-19 pandemic was already viewed as hazardous and unnecessary to many players. But because of the George Floyd tragedy and the powerful movement for racial justice that’s sweeping the nation, some players believe it’s bad optics for a league comprised predominantly of black men to be sequestered in one location for up to three months merely to entertain the masses and ease the league’s economic burden, sources said. "
There will reportedly be a very large Zoom call on Friday evening with up to 200 players where they will discuss the NBA's plan.
It seems there are a lot of balls in the air right now. The league has its plan, but the players don't sound like they are ready to commit just yet. And that's completely understandable under the circumstances. Even if they do agree to play, should the NBA really chance it? We are a month away from players reporting to their mini-training camp. Who knows what Florida -- or America -- could look like by then.