Serge Ibaka speaks out on ‘concerning’ COVID-19 numbers in Florida
With the NBA’s restart plan centered in Orlando, Florida in full motion at this point, one notable player wants to ensure that everyone in the “Orlando bubble” follows the rules while there. Serge Ibaka of the Toronto Raptors made some statements about the bubble in a conference call with reporters, per Josh Lewenberg of TSN Sports:
Serge on COVID-19 numbers in Florida: "Honestly, it's a little concerning. Hopefully everybody follows the rules when we get into the bubble in Orlando… I have my daughter, who lives here. It's kinda scary a little bit."
— Josh Lewenberg (@JLew1050) July 4, 2020
As you can see, Ibaka is concerned about the health of his daughter during the NBA restart – and with good reason. Per worldometers.info, Florida added a whopping 11,458 cases of COVID-19 on Saturday, which marks a state record. That gives the state 190,052 total cases of the virus, which is fourth overall among states behind only New York, California and Texas.
Those are not promising numbers for a state that is looking to add a vast swath of NBA players, coaches, reporters and various NBA-related personnel to its numbers by the end of the month.
Because many people in the U.S. are seemingly deciding (incorrectly) that the pandemic has pretty much run its course, cases are skyrocketing around the country. The U.S. is approaching 3 million cases confirmed of COVID-19, which is close to double the next-highest country’s peak (Brazil at 1.5 million).
For the Raptors, returning to NBA game action, despite the perils that it might entail, will be a chance for the team to defend its NBA Finals crown. Of course, the team is far different than it was last year, as both Kawhi Leonard, the Finals MVP, and Danny Green, a frequent contributor in the Finals throughout his career, both left for two different L.A. teams.
Before the season was suspended in March, the Raptors were in second place in the East with a stellar record of 46-18.