There has been a considerable amount of apprehension as the NBA gets set to resume the 2019-20 season. One such concern is that not all of the players that enter the bubble will stay in the bubble.
Will there be players who break Orlando bubble protocol?
Well, with the handful of teams that have already touched down in Orlando, Florida to spend a minimum of five weeks at the Walt Disney World campus, the food situation is suspect. Not to mention trying to keep players from leaving the bubble may not be an easy task even if there were appetizing food options. But, more on that in a moment.
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Trail Blazers All-Star point guard Damian Lillard doesn’t have a whole lot of faith that other players won’t break the bubble rule.
My confidence ain't great. My confidence ain't great because you're telling me you're gonna have 22 teams full of players following all the rules? When we have 100 percent freedom, everybody don't follow all the rules. I don't have much confidence. But hopefully it'll be handled to a point where we're not putting everybody at risk or in a dangerous position. -- Damian Lillard
But luckily for Lillard, he's a homebody or, in this case, a hotel-body during a normal NBA season.
“I know there's going to be activities for us and all that stuff, but I mean, I'm gonna be chilling. I feel like there's still a possibility for something to spread within that bubble, just with so many people doing so many different things that we've got to follow to be safe, even though we're not exposed to the public. So for me, it's going to be: What time is practice, what time can I get in the weight room, what time can I get some shots up, what's the plan for game day. And then I'm gonna be in the room. I'm gonna have my PS3, my PS4, I'm gonna have my studio equipment, my mic, my laptop, I'm gonna have all my books. That's it, man. I'm gonna be in the room, chilling.”
A handful of the 22 teams that are part of the NBA restart have already arrived in Orlando with teams traveling to the bubble from Tuesday to Thursday this week. Once the teams arrive they will be tested for COVID-19 and will isolate for up to 48 hours, before being tested again and begin practicing as a team.
Of course, once in the bubble players are not allowed to leave the premises.
The thought of NBA players being eliminated from the outside world and only eating the meals provided was already concerning, but then once Nuggets shooting guard Troy Daniels and Nets two-way player Chris Chiozza showed off their food in the bubble all bets were off that players will have the willpower to stay in the bubble.
How players are gonna look after a week in the bubble pic.twitter.com/qJ3QgT4gFV— The best (@lamarmvp_08) July 8, 2020
As one would imagine, social media took off after seeing the brown paper bag meal.
People joked that this NBA provided food would not be up to superstar LeBron James’ standards.
Lebron , Giannis and kawhi After sneaking out to Ruth Chris watching Troy Daniels eat Adam silver 2 star meals pic.twitter.com/ktiN1FEyyW— john (@iam_johnw) July 8, 2020
lebron still eating his five star meals looking at troy daniels’ paper bag lunch pic.twitter.com/YsjcOX3Kyb— bb 🕴🏾🌎 (@theprofessor_11) July 8, 2020
Players have received a reported 113-page document outlining all the protocols and rules once inside the bubble. A player who leaves campus will be quarantined for at least 10 days and will have to undergo deep-nasal testing.
During a Zoom call Wednesday, Blazers coach Terry Stotts mentioned that it is unfortunate that his team won’t be able to bond as a group as much during their time in the bubble due to the protocol that players can't go into each other's rooms. But, Stotts did say there will be places for his team to congregate.
Stotts also added, “I’m hopeful that everybody understands the seriousness of it… I give our players a lot of credit, not only on our team, but in the league. I think they understand what's at stake -- from a personal standpoint, a health standpoint, and a league standpoint, so I'm optimistic that that everybody's going to do what they're supposed to do.”
For now that’s all we can do, be as optimistic as Coach Stotts that the Orlando bubble will remain a bubble.