Silver Bullish On NBA's Bubble As League Heads Toward Restart
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said there is "no specific benchmark" for positive COVID-19 cases that would cause the league to change its restart plans. Silver noted if the case rate on the NBA campus "became anything like what it is off campus, we would shut down immediately. We have a whole bunch of contingencies." A lot "depends on who tests positive." Silver: "Is it a player who’s tested positive, and therefore potentially is infecting other players on the court? Is it one of the workers who is coming in and out of our community? Is it an NBA staff member, and what kind of spread are we seeing? We have a panel of expert scientists and doctors who are doing the data on a regular basis, and have modeled this with us.” Silver also noted the league is "thrilled that we’ve had no positives among anyone on that campus, at the same time I am worried that people might think, ‘No positives. We can let our guard down a little bit. Maybe we don’t need to wear masks. Maybe we don’t have to remain physically distant when we’re not on the court. My reaction was thrilled, but let’s just double down. Keep continuing to enforce those protocols, which got us to zero cases so far" (“NBA Countdown,” ESPN, 7/25).
INSIDE THE BUBBLE...: In N.Y., Marc Stein writes life in the NBA's Orlando bubble is "strange and mundane" for players and staff. Playing video games has emerged as the "most popular activity" to combat isolation (N.Y. TIMES, 7/27). In Boston, Mark Murphy writes Disney appears to be "creating the desired level of security and safety." Celtics coach Brad Stevens said, "We all feel the league has done a great job of making it as good as it can be" (BOSTON HERALD, 7/27).
FROM THE NEWS DESK: The WALL STREET JOURNAL's Benjamin Mullen notes about 15 news organizations have sent reporters to Orlando for the NBA's restart. And the "cost to cover the event" are "hefty." A source said that it is "more than $500 per reporter every day" when including food, lodging, testing and transportation. That could "add up to more than $50,000 per person" by the time the NBA Finals are played in October (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 7/27).