Adam Silver hints he will be in and out of Disney bubble
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver did a TIME 100 talk on Tuesday, attempting to clear up a lot of aspects of the nebulous restart of the 2019-20 season at Walt Disney World. During his long chat with Sean Gregory of TIME Magazine, Silver revealed he would be in and out of the bubble rather than being present at all times, as relayed by Tim Reynolds of The Associated Press.
This kind of defeats the purpose of a “bubble” environment, though the explanation is there will be a mechanism that allows some people — including a few Disney employees — to be tested for the novel coronavirus when they come into the community but remain “far more than 10 feet away from the players and therefore be able to come in and out.”
Silver also noted the idea of putting different names on jerseys is just an “intriguing idea” that has yet to be finalized. He also said the broadcast of NBA games might be slightly delayed due to the “colorful language” that might take place during live action, with no fans in attendance.
The commissioner also expertly dodged a question when asked if the “economic necessity” played a part into restarting the NBA season:
“It comes into play in that we feel an obligation to our sport and to the industry to find our new normal. And so, I mean it doesn’t come into play in terms of dollars and cents because frankly, it’s not all that economical for us to play on this campus. It’s enormously expensive,” said Silver. “Obviously, we don’t have fans. I should’ve mentioned earlier, so, we’re not selling tickets. But as I said, we almost see it as our duty to find a way that we can still provide the sport of basketball to our fans and to the broader community. This is how we’re going to do it. This is not a sustainable model over the long term, that’s for sure, at least based on the way we’ve conducted our sport historically. But again, we view this extraordinary circumstance.”
Silver told no lies here. It is far more expensive to play at Disney, pay for thousands of coronavirus tests, technology, and flying players, coaches, front-office executives, essential staffers, and families into Florida to resume the season.
The NBA is certainly not profiting from this situation, but rather salvaging revenue that would be otherwise lost. The question gave Silver enough wiggle room to weasel his way out of it, but even players have admitted that money is a major issue and the crucial reason for their return.
Silver also addressed the possibility of players protesting during the national anthem, but he mostly demurred in his response and said that would be handled “when it presents itself.”