New York correspondent
The NBA unknowingly chose the lion's den to dodge the Covid-19. The basketball league opted for the "bubble" formula to survive the pandemic: a hermetic campus within the massive Disneyworld amusement park in Florida. The decision was forged in May and was made in early June. So, the Covid-19 cases were sinking in the US, especially since the situation at the epicenter of the crisis, New York, was greatly improved. States like Florida, Texas or Arizona were launching a revival of their businesses after weeks of confinement, which had sunk the US economy
Today, the situation is the opposite. New York has controlled the pandemic and has run wild in Florida. The southern state, with eternal sunshine and retirees, is now called "the Wuhan of the USA" referring to the Chinese city where the virus originated. Florida registers around ten thousand cases per day. Yesterday was the second day with the most deaths, 134, since the start of the crisis and broke his record for hospitalizations.
The NBA bubble, however, has not yet broken. On Monday, the league released the results of the last round of testing and they were unbeatable: zero positives among the 346 players of the 22 teams who will play the last phase of the regular tournament and who have options to get into in the playoffs. The last round of testing was on July 13, and then two positives were detected, who had to abandon the bubble and isolate themselves away from their peers. In the first round of tests with the players already in Florida, on July 2, nine players tested positive.
The evolution of the test results shows that, from At the moment, the bubble conditions work. The teams are in three hotels and have their leisure and interactions controlled. The NBA provided them with a beeping device if you are less than two meters away from someone else. The device turns red if more than five seconds are passed below that threshold and it triggers a little music when it exceeds ten seconds, which invites one to move elsewhere.
Every The team has its halls to eat, hold technical talks and kill time. Workouts are assigned in batches, with plenty of room for disinfection between team practice.
Hardly anything to do, other than hanging out in the room, watching movies, or giving the grade In videos from TikTok, fishing has become a favorite leisure for many players. The complex has a lake where you can drop the hook and let time pass while you bite. Disney's service has a dozen rods and they seem to run out every day. Los Angeles Clippers star Paul George has bragged about his captures on social media and hooked up with other teammates in practice, such as Montrezl Harrell and Reggie Jackson. Rivals like Memphis Grizzlies 'Jonas Valanciunas or Philadelphia Sixers' Kyle O’Quinn have also joined. Even the NBA has organized small boat trips to go fishing.
There are also wayward people in the bubble. This is the case of Dwight Howard, the pivot of the Los Angeles Lakers. In a meeting with followers on social networks last weekend, he was against the obligation to wear a mask in common areas – many players mix in places like Rix Bar and Grill, the only place where they escape food. repetitive that his teams give them – and to top it off, he defended that he does not believe in vaccines. The NBA has a strict protocol on sanctions and even suspensions for those who fail to comply with established sanitary obligations.
It remains to be seen whether the good news lingers once the initial whistle sounds and the rubber outsoles squeak. against the parquet. The league returns on July 30 with two games – the Los Angeles classic Lakers vs. Clippers and New Orleans vs. Utah, and the teams will play eight games to decide who goes into the playoffs. The finals will begin on August 18 and, if There is a seventh game in the final, there would be a champion on October 13.