Here’s who the NBA will and won’t allow as guests next week
The NBA is requiring players to provide proof of “long-standing relationships” with non-family members that they wish to bring into the bubble in anticipation of the start of the playoffs. According to a memo obtained by ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the league and the National Basketball Players Association negotiated terms that will keep players from hosting guests who’d be deemed as “wholly casual” in nature, including some that are “known by the player only through social media or an intermediary,” per the memo.
Those who lack that “established pre-existing, personal and known relationship” won’t be allowed into the bubble, as each second-round playoff team has been allocated 17 hotel rooms for guests — one for each player in the roster. The NBA also prohibits bringing in those with business relationships, including agents, chefs, trainers, and tattoo artists.
Players will also be allowed one ticket per guest per playoff game, with the potential inclusion for an additional seat available to a child who is 32 inches or shorter, per the memo.
The majority of players would have been inside the NBA’s bubble environment for a month and a half by the time the second round starts, including a quarantine period, the start of Training Camp 2.0, and the last two weeks of the seeding portion of the season.
Aug. 31 would be the earliest players’ guests could clear the quarantine process and join players, according to the memo.
Guests will be expected to undergo the same quarantining process: seven days off-site from the ESPN Wide World of Sports complex or three days in the team’s market before flying to Orlando coupled with four more days on the Disney campus. Family members will have to quarantine and won’t be able to move outside the campus zone or go to Disney’s theme parks.
The NBA is adhering to this protocol to ensure the safety of the players, who have gone nearly an entire month without a single positive coronavirus case — proof that the bubble environment is truly working.
An NBA general manager noted the issue of casual acquaintances “could create problems within your team — and maybe someone else’s too.” Bringing a “casual” acquaintance and using this allowance as a guest pass of sorts could be a significant topic of discussion among teams.
While this allowance is partly to ensure the mental and emotional well-being of the players while acknowledging their elongated stay at the Disney campus.