After a more than three-month hiatus amid the global COVID-19 outbreak, the NBA is moving forward with its plan to resume the season at Disney’s Wide World of Sports in Orlando next month. Despite some trepidation among a portion of the players, it appears most eligible players will participate in the bubble league under strict quarantine protocols designed to mitigate the risks.
Only a small handful have announced that they won’t join their teams in Orlando, including Lakers guard Avery Bradley, who is concerned about the health of his son, who suffers from respiratory issues. Others have opted out of playing for a variety of reasons unrelated to the coronavirus concerns.
A couple of players have recently tested positive for COVID-19, though both Nikola Jokic and Malcolm Brogdon plan on traveling to Florida to play out the rest of the season after a period of quarantine. On Wednesday, Kings forward Jabari Parker became the latest to test positive for the virus, although he likewise plans on eventually joining his team in the restart once he is cleared, issuing a statement through the team.
In recent weeks, players have come together to voice their concerns about the restart, in terms of both safety issues regarding social distancing and the notion that the restart might distract from the Black Lives Matter movement that has gained so much traction in the last month following the murder of George Floyd.
Regardless, the restart is moving forward as planned. While the NBA said the deadline to decide whether they will play in Orlando, with the only repercussion for choosing not to play being a reduction in salary for each game missed, teams are reportedly taking July 1 as the actual final date for decisions to be made.