The NBA is expected to resume on July 30 and is constructing a social bubble at the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando to protect its players, teams, and the remainder of the season from the coronavirus.
NBA teams have started to arrive in Orlando and settle in their hotel rooms. Players are required to get tested for the coronavirus twice for them to be cleared for play. Some teams already started practice, and many players have shown their excitement through social media.
However, the basketball association faces challenges trying to create a safe environment for players while pushing to resume play. The number of coronavirus cases is excessively increasing in Florida.
Food options are limited as they are attempting to keep players isolated and minimize contact. Nevertheless, players made the best out of what they had and plan to finish the season strong.
Hotel Rooms In Orlando
As soon as they arrived in Orlando and checked in to their rooms, most players posted their thoughts and feelings on the hotel rooms that they will stay in. Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell showed off his elite hotel room, and many players showed their stack of video games and gaming consoles that they brought in with them.
Players like PJ Tucker upgraded his hotel TV to a huge Samsung TV and posted it on Twitter. LA Clippers guard Patrick Beverley shared an optimistic video by showing the lakeside view of his hotel room and said, “the bubble what you make it.”
While some players did not mind the lifestyle in Orlando, some have complained about windows not opening. Lakers guard Rajon Rondo compared the hotel room to “Motel 6.”
The day players arrived in Orlando, many complained about the food that they received from the first day. Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid took a photo of the meal from his hotel room and posted, “Definitely losing 50lb.”
JR Smith and Ben Mclemore also expressed disgust and disapproval from the quarantine food that they received.
After players shared what they were given on social media, the NBA released a statement that players will have access to various restaurants and delivery once the quarantine is cleared. The specific menu was chosen by the nutritionists.
Players can even hire personal chefs located outside the campus to prepare and send food on a daily basis and even go an extra mile once the mandatory quarantine ends.
The Dallas Mavericks and Denver Nuggets are two of the few teams who have completed their first practice in the NBA Bubble. The players and coaches are finally settling into a routine as they prepare for the season.
According to Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle, their first practice was to get the players’ bodies reacquainted to the game and hopes that they will get back in shape after three practices. Mavericks guard Seth Curry said, “You could tell a lot of guys had a little extra boost, a little extra energy getting back out on the court.”
For the Denver Nuggets, some players were missing for their first practice. Nuggets starting center Nikola Jokic had previously tested positive for the coronavirus in Serbia. He then re-tested negative on Tuesday but is not expected to join the team in Orlando for a few days.
Nuggets coach Michael Malone said that the team is not in game shape yet, but they have sufficient time to adjust and is confident about his team.