Think of an isolation facility but with basketball and you have the NBA bubble. This professional basketball league figured that this all-time favorite sport can’t die simply because of a global pandemic. Therefore, the association put on their thinking caps and thought of this way to ensure the NBA stays alive without serious risks to player, coach, and team health.
The NBA bubble has three arenas or courts. The number of people able to enter these locations is limited and closely watched. Media personnel, inactive players, team executives, and union personnel are few. Other than these individuals, no other person is allowed to enter these courts. Spectators are still free to view the games being played in the comforts of their homes.
Where is the NBA bubble? What are the teams playing in this isolated basketball-playing center? Here, you’re going to find the answer to these questions, plus other related information, so it should be in your best interest to continue reading.
Some seriously ill people have bubbles placed in isolation facilities to protect their well-being. For example, one person can have severe allergies from touching dust, which is a common airborne substance. So the individual needs to stay inside the bubble to protect their skin and overall health.
The NBA devised a similar concept when the COVID-19 pandemic threw the world for a loop. Health is now a more important aspect than ever as people, regardless of size, race, or social standing, are vulnerable to the coronavirus.
It is for this reason that the league shelled out $160 million to create the NBA bubble. However, this bubble isn’t the standard isolation facility equivalent to a conventional bedroom. Instead, it’s about twice the size of Manhattan.
The NBA bubble has three different arenas or courts. Furthermore, the only people allowed to enter the location need to undergo a strict screening process to ensure they’re not carriers of the COVID-19 virus. Generally, the people found in these isolated playing facilities are team executives, active and inactive players, union personnel, and limited media personnel. It’s also possible to see some sponsors hanging out in the facility.
Aside from the playing area, the NBA bubble also consists of three hotels: the Yacht Club, the Grand Floridian, and the Gran Destino Tower. These lodgings help out-of-state players to have comfortable places to stay while playing official games in the bubble.
The NBA players, along with other invited officials and personnel, can also take advantage of the different available amenities in the bubble. These facilities include pools, comfortable lounges, and even golf courses.
Where is the NBA Bubble?
The NBA bubble’s location is at the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida, specifically in the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. Therefore, some people like to call this facility the Disney bubble.
To call this place massive can be an understatement. As mentioned previously, this location has different sports facilities as it even has golf courses.
Walt Disney World Resort executives teamed up with NBA officials to continue their love of basketball without putting high risks of spreading the COVID-19 virus. Also, Disney World isn’t accepting guests, at the time of writing, since the pandemic is still rearing its ugly head across different cities, towns, states, and countries globally.
What are the NBA Bubble Teams in 2021?
22 teams join to play in the NBA bubble in the 2020 to 2021 season. 13 of these professional basketball groups come from the West and nine from the East.
Kindly note that the NBA standings halted at the height of the pandemic in March 2020. Therefore, the teams that rejoined the season will continue playing with their previous scores.
Here are the teams that rejoined the 2020 to 2021 season:
1. Dallas Mavericks
2. Denver Nuggets
3. Houston Rockets
4. Los Angeles Clippers
5. Los Angeles Lakers
6. Memphis Grizzlies
7. New Orleans Pelicans
8. Oklahoma City Thunder
9. Phoenix Suns
10. Portland Trail Blazers
11. Sacramento Kings
12. San Antonio Spurs
13. Utah Jazz
1. Boston Celtics
2. Brooklyn Nets
3. Indiana Pacers
4. Miami Heat
5. Milwaukee Bucks
6. Orlando Magic
7. Philadelphia 79ers
8. Toronto Raptors
9. Washington Wizards
As you can see, not every team in the NBA joined or rejoined in the NBA bubble. These teams are:
1. Atlanta Hawks
2. Charlotte Hornets
3. Chicago Bulls
4. Cleveland Cavaliers
5. Detroit Pistons
6. Golden State Warriors
7. Minnesota Timberwolves
The main reason for these teams not being able to play in the NBA bubble is because their chances at playing for the season ended prematurely. These teams needed to be in a playoff seed or won six games out of eight seeds in their respective conferences. As it stands, the aforementioned teams were not able to achieve either objective to warrant them the chance to play in the bubble.
What are the NBA Bubble Rules in 2021?
Aside from the standard NBA rules, the NBA bubble imposed new guidelines and restrictions to ensure the safety of all people in the location. These screening procedures were even able to find some COVID-19 positive individuals before they had the chance to step into the bubble’s arenas.
In July 2020, the NBA announced that two out of 322 people in the bubble carry the virus. The league took immediate actions to help those affected while implementing safety countermeasures in the arenas to ensure the virus doesn’t spread. A succeeding report announced that no players were COVID-19 positive after the previous incident.
NBA Bubble COVID-19 Protocols
People need to go undergo a multi-step process before going into the NBA bubble courts. This procedure is as follows:
It takes about 14 days for the entire COVID-19 testing phase to complete. Therefore, if a player returns with a positive test, that athlete will have no choice but to miss upcoming matches.
Number of People Allowed in the NBA Campus per Team
The NBA allows 37 people from different teams to enter each basketball court in the bubble. These individuals include the coaches, trainers, equipment managers, and active and inactive players. But teams can request to add more people if needed. For instance, a team that wins the first round can ask to add two additional staff members to enter the arena.
Visitors in the NBA Bubble
The NBA bubble imposes strict rules against visitations, at least at the time of writing. In other words, nobody staying in the official NBA bubble lodgings or those in the courts can have visitors.
After the bubble’s first round, each remaining team can reserve up to 17 rooms in their prescribed accommodations. However, this number is subject to change depending on the number of players a specific team possesses currently. Nonetheless, only one player or registered employee can stay in one room.
But both the NBA and the National Basketball Players Association (NBPA) agreed to loosen the restrictions. According to an ESPN report, both associations can allow as many as four guests to enter the lodgings per player. However, age and height restrictions still apply as children, especially babies, can’t enter these accommodations to protect their well-being.
However, these guests should also pass a strict screening process before being granted entry. For instance, non-family visitors should have considerable proof of having a longstanding relationship with the NBA athlete or employee. Some examples include folks with business connections to an NBA-affiliated professional, such as business partners, physical trainers, and chefs.
Further, guests need to have daily COVID-19 tests for four days while staying in the lodgings. Anybody with a test that returned positive will need to follow the league’s strict protocol and remain in the isolation facility to reduce and prevent the spread of the virus.
The NBA bubble has three arenas or courts in Disney World in Orlando, Florida. Any person, regardless if he or she is an affiliate of the league, will need to undergo a strict multi-step COVID-19 process before being granted entry to any amenity within the bubble. In turn, it’s possible to keep the spread of the virus as minimal as possible.