NBA may have to play games in two cities, place players in a ‘bubble’
The NBA is hoping to salvage the remainder of its 2019-20 season despite the coronavirus pandemic, and it seems certain at this point that things will look a lot different if the league does resume play this year.
One aspect of the coronavirus outbreak that could complicate matters for the NBA is that different cities are being impacted at different times. While the peak of the outbreak in New York could be a few weeks away, it may be significantly later for COVID-19 case numbers to start decreasing in other parts of the country. Because of that, ESPN’s Brian Windhorst says the NBA may have to consider picking two different cities in which to hold games, practices and all other activities related to the season.
.@WindhorstESPN says the NBA may have to follow what the Chinese Basketball Association is trying to do.
"… to cluster their teams into two different cities… and put their teams in that bubble, and have them live, eat, breathe, train — everything basketball in that bubble." pic.twitter.com/PdpRalGRtI
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) March 29, 2020
As Windhorst describes it, the NBA could place players in a “bubble” of sorts, asking them to remain in a certain city for the remainder of the season. The Chinese Basketball Association is considering that approach, though CBA players do not have a union. Any decisions the NBA made with regard to finishing the season would have to be approved by the NBA Players Association.
Major League Baseball is considering a similar approach with where its games may have to be played. If leagues are determined to somehow complete their seasons, that may end up being the only way to get it done.