A memo and handbook obtained by the Associated Press (among others) has given a very specific look at how the NBA will try to keep players happy when they're locked down in an Orland-based "bubble" to resume the season in late July.
As is not shocking in a world trying to plow through a pandemic, safety is a big ass priority. The AP reports that players will be regularly tested for COVID-19, though not with those invasive nasal swabs they jam up your nose. Players will also have to honor social distancing guidelines by standing six-feet apart, plus they'll have to don masks when in public, and no one within the bubble will be allowed in someone else's "sleeping room."
The league has reportedly told players that they'll be working with at least one outside medical company to have an X-Ray/MRI capable medical center on the "campus." On-court practices will take place in assigned three-hour blocks, and there will be an hour break in-between for the purpose of sanitizing/cleaning for the next team.
Games will take place in three different arenas, and each team will play eight games prior to the postseason:
The NBA also said that "a central goal of our season restart" will be to channel eyeballs to “sustained action to issues of social injustice, including combating systemic racism, expanding educational and economic opportunities across the Black community, enacting meaningful police and criminal justice reform and promoting greater civic engagement.”
Discussions involving the league and players association on those topics (and how to best make them a reality) are said to be ongoing.
The league's commissioner, Adam Silver, has said that any players who don't wish to report to Orlando for the league's resumption (due to either health or social justice concerns) can choose to do that without punishment, though they'll lose salary for the games they miss.
Now for the rundown of everything else that will be involved to try and and give returning players maximum comfort. It's a lot, so we'll do it quick. The campus will include: a players-only lounge (details on that below), a pool, hiking trails, barbers, manicurists, pedicurists, daily entertainment, the option to watch other games, virtual chapel services, yoga, meditation, restaurant availability, three-to-four daily meals, fishing areas, cabanas, golf course access, bowling, backstage tours, and more.
The entertainment players will reportedly enjoy (should they choose to play) will be very exclusive. That info came courtesy of reporter Keith Smith:
Teams will have operation groups of up to 35 people. These groups will be composed of: players, an athletic trainer, a senior executive, an equipment manager, a strength/conditioning coach, and security. For clarification, here's Shams Charania reporting on all that via Twitter:
Also Marc Stein providing further credibility:
The 22 teams heading to Orlando will be stationed at three different hotels based on seeding. The teams with the best records will be at the Grand Destino, mid-teams at the Grand Floridian, and bubble teams at the Yacht Club (I'm sure they're all very nice):
Players have been asked to notify teams about whether they're in or out by June 24.
For more info you can read this piece from The Athletic, subscription-required.