Grading The NBA’s Orlando Bubble So Far

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With NBA players having spent almost a 1 week participating in team practices, it’s a perfect time to grade the bubble’s job in preventing Covd-19.

According to the NBA, only 2 players of the 322 players at the bubble, or 0.62% tested on July 7th tested positive for the virus. This is widely impressive, going to show that at this moment, the NBA bubble at Disney World is doing a good job of preventing and limiting the spread of Covid-19. Apparently, the reason they tested positive is because they never actually cleared quarantine. The NBA is being strict with this as they sent those two players packing back home to quarantine (for real this time) before they can come back and rejoin their team in the NBA sanctuary. 

There were videos showing Embiid leaving for the bubble in a hazmat suit. This is important because it shows the discrepancy between players that are going to the bubble. Joel put it very well when he said: “There’s some guys [who]like to go out, there’s some guys [who]like to do stuff, there’s some guys that like adventure. So that’s the way I’m thinking. I know myself, I know I’m not going to put everybody else at risk. But the question is, ‘Is everybody else going to do the same?” 

He’s obviously not the only NBA player to feel this way (Damian Lillard also had some strong words) and he was proven very correct soon after he said this.

Bruno Caboclo of the Houston Rockets and Richaun Holmes of the Sacramento Kings are prime examples of what Joel was talking about. 

Let’s start with Caboclo. He left his room in the initial days of quarantine when he first arrived at the bubble. He put his teammates and others at risk because of this decision. He has to now spend 8 more days in self isolation before he can join his team.

Holmes’ situation might have been worse than Caboclo. While Caboclo probably just didn’t know the definition of what self-isolation meant, Holmes decided to order Postmates to the closed off bubble. For those who don’t know, the term “bubble” comes from the fact that everyone that is inside, stays inside, and those outside, stay outside, like an actual bubble or dome. In what world does this mean “It’s okay for me to go outside the bubble to get food and then come back in and assume there are no consequences?” I, frankly have no idea and am struggling to process Holmes’s decision making on that one.

But, now he gets to spend 8 days in self quarantine to think about it so maybe we’ll get an answer then.

At least the NBA is strict with their coronavirus punishments.

You know what isn’t strict? The rest of the USA. 

Westbrook and Harden both tested positive for the virus Monday before they were scheduled to fly to Orlando with the team. Westbrook said he felt fine so that’s a plus. But also the good news is if they both quarantine for two weeks, the recommended time, and the virus passes, they could be allowed to return and play with their team. This would only leave them about 3 days with their team before seeding games begin. Russ and Harden with little team practice is still better than not having the two MVP winners.

But, other than these two incidents, the bubble is looking pretty good in terms of stopping Covid-19. The infection rate is much lower than the national average, practices are still occurring, players are within 6 feet of each other and don’t have to wear masks during practice. Sounds like the NBA’s bubble is doing much better than the rest of the country. 

I just hope I didn’t jinx it – that would suck. But after this 1 week, I’ll give the bubble and the NBA’s job in ensuring player’s safety an A.

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Brought up in Oregon, Kush is a rising junior at Westview High School. He's played basketball and water polo at the national level for many years. When he's not practicing, you can catch him eating, doing homework, or catching up on sports news. He enjoys watching football and basketball. He has aspirations of being able to use data to analyze and optimize various aspects of sports.

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