Tuesday brought a barrage of details on the NBA’s restart plans.
Over the last few weeks, details on the NBA‘s planned restart at Walt Disney Resort in Orlando have trickled out.
On Tuesday, a memo sent to the players from the National Basketball Players Association was leaked, revealing numerous details on the league’s health and safety manual as the 2019-20 season prepares to resume on July 30.
As reported by The Athletic‘s Shams Charania, there are dozens of important tidbits to gloss over. In order to get everything straight, we’ll be going through the most important rules and protocol to keep everything in one convenient list.
Here are the most important NBA updates from Tuesday’s barrage of news:
- Any player who exercises his right to not play in Orlando will not be punished for doing so. However, that player will have his compensation reduced by 1/92.6 for each game missed, up to a cap of 14 games.
- Players who choose this option must inform their teams of their decision by June 24.
- For Phase 1 (June 12-22), players outside of the United States should have returned to their team’s market by June 15. All other players must return to their team market by June 22 for mandatory testing beginning on June 23.
- The only exception is the Toronto Raptors, who will travel directly to Florida due to quarantine/travel issues in Canada.
- Players can work out at their team facility on a voluntary basis (individual workouts only).
- Teams can also conduct virtual workout sessions via video chat.
- Once in their market, players are expected to remain home and limit exposure.
- To begin Phase 2 (June 23-30), teams will start mandatory COVID-19 testing, which will consist of a “shallow nasal swab and oral swab” (PCR testing) and a blood draw. The long nasal swab that reportedly causes discomfort will not be used.
- “Protected Players” or “Excused Players,” who are deemed to be at a higher risk for more severe illness upon contracting coronavirus by their team or by three medical experts, respectively, will not have their salaries reduced if they do not participate.
- For Phase 3 (July 1-9/10/11), individual workouts for players at their team facilities become mandatory (still no group workouts permitted, but head coaches may observe/participate in individual workouts).
- For Phase 4.A (July 7-11), teams will arrive in Orlando on a staggered basis. Players and team staff must stay isolated in their rooms until they register two negative tests at least 24 hours apart.
- All team and league staff must wear a proximity alarm alerting the user if he/she spends more than five seconds within six feet of another person (this is optional for players).
- Everyone on the campus must wear a face mask, except for “when eating, in their individual rooms, during a workout or while engaged in a physical activity outdoors that is not within six feet of another person.”
- Physical distancing of at least six feet apart except during team workouts must be maintained.
- Players can also wear Oura smart rings that track temperature, respiratory and heart rate to help with early detection of COVID-19.
- Random anti-drug testing will resume on July 7, but only for SPEDs and diuretics. There will be no testing for recreational substances (i.e. marijuana), but players are still subject to discipline if caught in possession, since recreational marijuana use is not legal in Florida.
- For Phase 4.B, group workouts, practices, weight training, etc. can begin.
- COVID-19 testing will include regular PCR testing, daily temperature checks, symptom surveys and a finger clip device that measures oxygen levels.
- Players are asked to refrain from spitting, clearing their nose, wiping the ball with their jersey, licking their hands or unnecessarily touching their mouthguard.
- After self-isolating through July 21, players can eat meals and participate in social activities with other players in their own hotel as long as they maintain physical distancing.
- The Gran Destino hotel will house the Milwaukee Bucks, Los Angeles Lakers, Toronto Raptors, LA Clippers, Boston Celtics, Denver Nuggets, Utah Jazz and Miami Heat.
- The Grand Floridian will house the Oklahoma City Thunder, Philadelphia 76ers, Houston Rockets, Indiana Pacers, Dallas Mavericks, Brooklyn Nets, Memphis Grizzlies and Orlando Magic.
- The Yacht Club will house the Portland Trail Blazers, Sacramento Kings, New Orleans Pelicans, San Antonio Spurs, Phoenix Suns and Washington Wizards.
- In the NBA campus, amenities include a players-only lounge with TVs and video games, pool/trails, barbers, manicurists, pedicurists, a 24-hour VIP concierge and daily entertainment like movie screenings, DJ sets, video games, ping pong, pool and lawn games.
- The barbers, manicurists, pedicurists and hair braiders will be selected jointly with the NBPA.
- Players can bring a personal security guard, massage therapist or trainer, but that person would count toward the team’s 35-person allotment.
- No pets will be allowed in the bubble.
- Any meal eaten with a player from another team must be eaten outside.
- Players are not allowed to enter each other’s hotel rooms.
- Disney chefs will prepare daily meals and there will be room service, but food deliveries from outside the NBA campus will be restricted. Players will get three meals a day and four meals on game days.
- Players can hire a personal chef outside the NBA campus at their own expense to prepare food on a daily basis.
- Players can receive standard deliveries in packages that will be processed, cleaned and delivered. There will be a separate process for food deliveries from approved providers.
- No one will be prevented from leaving the bubble, but the expectation is for players to remain inside it.
- If a player leaves without approval, he will have to undergo enhanced testing (like the deep nasal swab), quarantine for 10-14 days and then be subject to a reduction in compensation based on any games missed during that time period.
- For Phase 5 (July 22-29), teams will play three scrimmage games against other teams in their own hotel.
- From July 22 onward, players are allowed to socialize with players and team staff from the other hotels.
- For Phase 6 (July 30-Oct. 13), basketball begins with the eight “seeding” games to finish off the regular season.
- Eliminated teams leave immediately after returning a negative PCR test within 24 hours of their scheduled departure from the NBA bubble.
- Teams that advance past the first round of the playoffs will then be allowed to reserve one guest room per player on the roster (15 for teams without two-way players, 17 for teams with two-way players).
- Players are responsible for the cost of guest rooms, but not for the costs of meals or COVID-19 testing for their guests.
- Player guests must undergo three days of self-quarantine and testing outside the NBA campus. If they do not return a positive test, they will be allowed to enter the campus, but must remain in quarantine for four days upon arrival, with testing for each of those days.
- Player guests who leave the bubble will not be allowed to return.
- The NBA also released a statement on the resumption of basketball, promising to use its platform to “bring attention and sustained action to issues of social injustice.”
- The league is having discussions with the NBPA on how best to do this, with the players coalition led by Kyrie Irving and Avery Bradley likely to play a prominent role in how this strategy is approached and ultimately accepted or rejected, per ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
Altogether, the NBA’s plan seems pretty comprehensive (and far beyond what other sports leagues in America are doing), but it remains to be seen how the players react to these living conditions, especially when the Black Lives Matter movement and ongoing coronavirus pandemic make it hard to care as much about basketball right now.