The 2019-20 NBA season is set to resume at Walt Disney World in Orlando on July 30 after a four-plus month hiatus due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Unfortunately for the Association, there’s a number of players concerned over the possibility of resuming the season in a bubble.
Is the NBA season at Walt Disney World already doomed?
Earlier in the week, a report indicated that a number of players are against the idea of resuming the season amid a pandemic that’s now on an upward trajectory in a number of states, Florida included.
Now comes this piece of information from ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski indicating that this number could grow and create a domino effect. The respected NBA personality notes that players on teams without much of a chance of earning a playoff spot might not want to head to Walt Disney’s “bubble city.”
This makes a lot of sense. There’s a number of teams that have no realistic chance of playing postseason basketball.
How the 2019-20 NBA season will look in Orlando
A total of 22 of the NBA’s 30 teams will return to the season in Orlando on July 30 after the campaign was suspended back on March 11. This means a total of six teams will likely only play eight games before leaving the campus.
The plan is for a potential play-in tournament in each conference should the ninth seed be within four games of the No. 8 spot. This isn’t great news for a number of teams.
The Washington Wizards are 5.5 games out of the eighth spot back east. Out west, the Phoenix Suns are six games behind the Memphis Grizzlies for the final playoff spot. Why would players on these teams want to risk their health and that of their families to play what might be meaningless games during a global pandemic?
There’s some good news on this front. The NBA is nearing a deal with the Players’ Association that would allow players to opt out of heading to Orlando. While that might create some competitive imbalance, it’s probably the best option right now.
It’s highly unlikely that these latest hiccups are going to derail a return to the NBA season. There’s too much on the line for both sides.