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Rumor: Immediate family members may be allowed in quarantine ‘bubble’ if NBA restarts

Los Angeles Clippers v Los Angeles Lakers

LOS ANGELES, CA - DECEMBER 25: Shaqir O’Neal goes up for a dunk as his brother Shareef O’Neal, sons of former NBA player Shaquille O’Neal and Bronny James, son of LeBron James #23 of the Los Angeles Lakers, defend as they shoot baskets after the game between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Los Angeles Clippers at Staples Center on December 25, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)

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Everything is on the table. That’s how NBA Commissioner Adam Silver described plans for an NBA return, adding that right now there is not enough information to make any kind of decision.

Creating a quarantine “bubble” — where games are played in one city/location with no fans — is at the top of the list of options the NBA is considering. Silver said that the league has listened to pitches from locations to host the “bubble,” but sources have said there has been modeling from the league about what that would look like. The players, coaches, training staff, equipment managers, and others would be inside that bubble, which would need to last at least a couple of months.

What about family members? They may be allowed, reports David Aldridge of The Athletic.

According to sources primed on the ongoing talks, the hope is that immediate family members would be able to accompany their NBA-playing relatives to Las Vegas.

“There (are) enough luxury hotels to accommodate the players and their families, which would remove any concerns with the egos involved with the players as it relates to accommodations,” one prominent agent who’s talked with players and agents about the proposed plan said Wednesday. “… The players want to play, and by allowing them the option to bring immediate family members, we eliminate their desire to want to leave the city.”

Sure. If you think bringing a few family members will remove the temptation of some players to break the quarantine so they take advantage of Las Vegas’ “entertainment” options, I would like you to meet this Nigerian Prince who needs just a little bit of help. (This is one reason the
Orlando option makes some sense.)

That said, I think players should be able to bring some family if they desire, those players (and coaches and staff) are going to be in this bubble for a couple of months. For some players — Chris Paul, LeBron James for example — having family there would be important to them, but this is not a one-size-fits-all issue.

The issue is simply the integrity of the bubble — the larger you make it, the harder it is to keep the quarantine.

There are a lot of logistical challenges with the bubble idea, but it also the only way the NBA likely finishes off this season. It’s going to be a while before the 18,000 will fill an NBA arena to watch games again. This is not going to be a quick road back for the league or the United States as a whole.