The NBA laid out rules for the return to play in Orlando next month, and the guidelines are DETAILED.
For starters, the accommodations sound like they’re going to be top notch, with the Sixers lumped into a group of teams that will stay at the Grand Floridian, a five-star hotel on the lagoon outside of Magic Kingdom. According to Adrian Wojnarowski at ESPN, a players-only lounge will have TVs, an arcade, and ping pong. They’ll have access to a 24-hour VIP concierge with daily entertainment, like movie screenings. A dedicated “Disney culinary team” will be provided for each squad, and boating/bowling/fishing/golf outings will also be available.
The medical guidelines to prevent the spread of the ‘Rona are lengthy and somewhat boring for a blog post, but they are thorough and detailed, so they didn’t skip a beat there.
For the purposes of this article, I want to detail one of the dumbest things I’ve ever heard of, from the Woj story:
“Players will have the option to wear a “proximity alarm” that will notify them if they spend more than five seconds within 6 feet of another person on campus who is wearing an alarm. This is optional for players and possibly referees; it will be mandatory for all team and league staff members.”
Talk about overkill. Imagine having to wear a mandatory alarm that goes beep beep boop boop because you’re standing too close to another person. This is nothing more than treating grown adults like children, since I’m pretty sure Brett Brown knows how far he needs to sit from Kevin Young and Ime Udoka during a coach’s meeting.
Here’s another bad idea:
Per me and @sam_amick: The NBA will create an anonymous hotline to report potential violations of protocols in Orlando.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) June 17, 2020
The potential to abuse this is through the roof. Imagine somebody pulling a Karen and saying, “yeah, hi, I saw Kawhi Leonard playing ping pong without a mask.”
And then what? They confront Kawhi to ask him about it and he says, “I have no idea what you’re talking about.” I’m not sure how this would be enforced outside of going to the hotel security footage and tracking every player movement, which sounds pseudo-Orwellian and also unnecessary.
Other than these two ridiculous tidbits, the guidelines seem otherwise reasonable and comprehensive. Each team will be allowed to bring 37 people, which includes players, support staff, one PR official and a content/media person. 37 people multiplied by 22 teams taking part would give us 814 folks spread across three hotels, which includes the Yacht Club and Gran Destino in addition to the Floridian.
We’re getting closer to basketball, unless Kyrie Irving and the dissenting faction sink the ship before it sets sail across the Seven Seas Lagoon.
A Crossing Broad reader says he has to wear one of those proximity alarms for work and described the experience as such:
“It’s frustrating. My job requires me to be working 6 feet of someone pretty much all day so it constantly goes off. If you’re in the shitter and someone goes in the stall next to you it’ll go off then too”