RUMOR: Chicago ‘bubble’ not likely to be mandatory for 8 NBA teams
The NBA is close to “signing off on a second ‘bubble’ in Chicago” for the eight teams not invited to Florida, according to ESPN’s Jackie MacMullan. Like the Orlando ‘bubble’ for the league’s other 22 teams, participation in the Chicago plan may not be required.
“I’m told the second bubble idea still needs to be approved by the players association. There are details to be worked out. The early word, according to sources, is it wouldn’t be mandatory” tweeted Cavs writer Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com.
The idea for the Chicago bubble is to enable NBA teams to “to participate in a mini-training camp and subsequent games against other clubs”, per MacMullan. The target date for the proposed plan is some time in the month of September.
Details are still being worked out by the league, with some franchises pushing for a different scenario that would allow them to put on local mini-camps, with the possibility of establishing regional sites for scrimmages against other teams.
NBAPA director Michele Roberts prefers non-playoff teams to follow a similar format as the 22-teams invited to Orlando, but representatives from the eight non-Orlando teams (except the New York Knicks—the one team not represented on the call, of course) clearly aren’t aligned on that front.
Detroit Pistons coach Dwayne Casey anecdotally believes most his peers would prefer local mini-camps for young players simply to stay fresh and train, rather than an uncomfortable bubble scenario:
“We’d rather do that than go to the bubble,” Casey told MacMullan, “because unlike those teams in Orlando, we wouldn’t be playing for the same reason…The reason we want these mini-camps is to get our team together, to have that camaraderie, to improve and enjoy some competition. We feel we can do that safely in our own environment.”
There’s also a good chance the league waits to see how the Orlando bubble goes before taking a vote on the Chicago plan.