The one thing that could stop the NBA’s return, and it’s not the players
Much has been made of recent internal discussions within the NBPA regarding the NBA’s plans for a restart in Orlando, Florida.
But as Los Angeles Lakers big man Dwight Howard said, the players are not explicitly stating they will not play. Rather, the NBPA is using this time to allow all voices to be heard.
In actuality, the players are not the most likely factor in preventing a return to the hardwood. Instead, the main deterrent–as it has been for the last three months–is the coronavirus pandemic.
Positive cases of COVID-19 have skyrocketed in Orlando as of late. Mike Vorkunov of The Athletic reported there were 316 new cases in Orange County on Thursday alone, nearly double the previous single-day high.
Florida reported 3,207 new coronavirus cases today (a 15% jump from the previous high Tue). The positive rate was 12.5%. There were 316 new cases in Orange County (where Orlando is). Previous high had been 182 Tue. Stark increase in health metrics in Orange Co. last two weeks👇 pic.twitter.com/L0zr9d5kwh
— Mike Vorkunov (@MikeVorkunov) June 18, 2020
In fact, some experts are suggesting the state of Florida could be the next “epicenter,” per Madeline Holcombe and Ray Sanchez of CNN:
The Sunshine State has “all the markings of the next large epicenter of coronavirus transmission,” and risks being the “worst it has ever been,” according to projections from a model by scientists at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and the University of Pennsylvania.
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