NBA's bubble plan in Las Vegas or Disney is likely off the table, according to NBPA president Michele Roberts
Team owners haven't pushed hard for players to accept this idea to restart the season
As NBA teams begin to re-open practice facilities, the league is still making contingency plans for all possible scenarios in hopes to restart the 2019-20 season. One idea that's been floated around for weeks, and was gaining steam recently, was creating a bubble city where the NBA could play out the remainder of the season and crown a champion. Las Vegas was initially thrown around, as well as Disney World as possible locations to host the league, however, nothing has been solidified or spoken about publicly by the NBA as a viable option.
Despite the amount of attention that idea has received recently, executive director of the National Basketball Players Association Michele Roberts, never really thought that idea could work. While speaking to ESPN's Ramona Shelburne, Roberts gave her thoughts on that idea ahead of a players-only call that is expected to take place Friday afternoon.
"When that [idea] was first floated, there was some consternation," Roberts said via ESPN. "Are we going to arm guards around the hotel? That sounds like incarceration to me."
Not only does Roberts have reservations about the idea of holding all games in one location, but players have voiced concerns to her about the idea as well. Although players would reportedly be willing to make the sacrifice to be away from their family members for an extended period of time, that's only if it meant there was no risk of the virus spreading in this so-called bubble city. However, there's no way to guarantee that.
"So then the players were like, 'Well, I don't know that it's worth it to be away from my family for that long,'" Roberts said. "We could do all that, and then what happens when one or two or 10 players test positive after that 28-day isolation? Do we shut it down?"
As player concern grows about the idea of a bubble city, the likelihood of it happening without the right safety protocols seems to be lessening. Shelburne reports that neither the players or owners have pushed significantly hard to accept this idea to a point where these concerns need to be addressed. Which is why NBA commissioner Adam Silver and Roberts were planning to have a call with all the players in the league to answer any questions or concerns they might have.
These are all valid concerns for the players to have, and Silver has said on numerous occasions that widespread testing and medical personnel are necessities before the league can even consider ramping up play again. It's been nearly two months since the league announced the postponement of the season, and there are still more questions than answers in how the NBA can get back to action.