Trail Blazers

Neil Olshey praises NBA for bubble experience, safe atmosphere

Trail Blazers

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the NBA made a drastic and unprecedented decision: They formed a bubble to help protect their players and personnel at the Disney World resort in Orlando, Florida. Everyone granted access to the bubble was tested routinely and social distancing guidelines were put in place. They wore devices to ensure safety protocols that sounded an alarm if they got too close. In the end, the three-month experiment was a huge success.

In-market coronavirus testing began ahead of traveling to the bubble starting on July 1. The last round of any number of positive tests was July 13. Staring on July 20, there were no further positive tests for the remainder of the time in the bubble.

Portland Trail Blazers President of Basketball Operations Neil Olshey met with our Trail Blazers Insider Dwight Jaynes over Zoom to discuss the success of the NBA bubble:

“The league did an unbelievable job. I think more than anything, everybody talks about the lifestyle, but the feeling of safety was so comforting there. The league did an outstanding job of making sure everybody in that bubble knew, everybody there was as compliant as one another in terms of the safety protocols. We were tested everyday, we all dealt with the best practices when it came to making sure we wore our PPE [Personal Protective Equipment], we socially distanced, we were only around each other outside within six feet.

From that standpoint, that was the biggest adjustment was actually - people haven’t talked about - is leaving the bubble. Leaving the bubble was a major adjustment going back into stores, being in the community, being at home, knowing where the risks are. 

Portland Trail Blazers President of Basketball Operations Neil Olshey

Watch more in the video above.

[Listen to the latest Talkin’ Blazers Podcast with Portland Trail Blazers President and CEO Chris McGowan].