The NBA has done a commendable job in finding a way to restart the coronavirus-hit season. The Florida bubble idea poses its own set of challenges, but it can’t be denied that this is an impressive move by the league, all things considered. Nevertheless, the way they handle the other eight sides that won’t be taking part in the bubble still remains to be a major issue for the NBA.
NBPA executive director Michelle Roberts has spoken out about this concern, and relayed how these teams have been looking to compensate for not being able to see out the remainder of their respective season.
“Candidly, while I appreciate that there will be a bit of a layoff, I think there are some things these teams can do to get the guys that are not playing some (benefit) by their not being involved in Orlando. But unless we could replicate in every way the protocol that’s been established for Orlando, I’d be — I’m being tame now — suspicious,” Roberts said, via K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago. “I think there are conversations that could be had if there’s anything we can do with the other eight teams. I know there are some players, particularly young players, that seem concerned they’re not getting enough (opportunities). I think our teams are incredibly smart and creative and can come up with ways to get their guys engaged, if not now, before the season starts.”
The idea of a separate bubble for the other eight teams has been discussed, but as Roberts described, the safety of the players and the staff remains to be an utmost concern.
“But I am very concerned and frankly, my concern aside, our players, our teams are very concerned about any — in terms of play that doesn’t have the same guarantees of safety and health that we’ve provided for the teams in Orlando,” she added. “So yeah, never say never, but there’s a standard. It’s a standard that’s got to be met, and if it’s not met, next question, as far as I’m concerned.”
Having your season cut off — regardless of how poorly you’ve performed — is still a major blow for any team. It’s a legitimate challenge each of the eight eliminated teams will need to face, but the good news here is that both the NBA and NBPA are continuously trying to find ways to help them out in this regard.