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NBA expands number of executives who can enter bubble to watch games (from a distance)

NBA scoring up

ORLANDO, FL - JULY 16: An exterior shot of The Arena at ESPN Wide World of Sports with the “Whole New Game” signage during practice as part of the NBA Restart 2020 on July 16, 2020 in Orlando, Florida. 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. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2020 NBAE (Photo by Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty Images)

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There are perks to owning an NBA team. Such as being able to enter the NBA bubble arenas to watch games — from a distance.

The NBA is going to allow all 30 teams — which includes the eight teams not playing in Orlando — to send three people to watch games in the NBA’s Orlando restart campus at the Walt Disney World resort, reports Sam Amick and Mike Vorkunov of The Athletic. The three people are a governor (an owner), an assistant governor, and a senior basketball operations executive.
They will be restricted to watching games from the otherwise empty stands, the three will not be able to interact with the players, coaches, or other people in the bubble. The three have to stay in a hotel outside the bubble and will be allowed only into the arena to watch games — while wearing a mask and after passing a temperature check — then they have to leave the bubble.

Just to get in to watch the games, the three people must test negative for the coronavirus no more than 72 hours before entering to watch a game, plus they must submit a report that says they are negative of COVID-19 symptoms.

All of this mirrors how the media can cover games. There are more than a dozen media members currently in quarantine to be inside the bubble, but there will be a second tier of media members at games who can watch games from the stands but will not be able to interact with players/coaches (press conferences via zoom, etc.). That second tier of media members have to meet the same requirements as the owners/executives.

It’s also similar to what NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said he would do — entering the bubble at points to watch games, but only from a distance.

Because of the distance and precautions, it’s highly unlikely the owners/executives attending games could spread the coronavirus to players and anyone else in the bubble — as long as nobody violates the rules. Coaches can’t sneak out to shake the owners’ hands after the game.

It only seems fair to let the team’s governor and top executives watch the games in person, even if the seats aren’t as good as they normally expect.