The NBA is just three days away from progressing to Phase 2 of its restart plan and has now provided significant detail on restrictions and expectations for players and staff members in the coming months.
On Tuesday, the NBA released a set of health and safety guidelines as well as player information in a series of handbooks that outlined specific dates and requirements under each of the six phases.
With players’ return date approaching, the league is progressing toward an effective and safe restart under the confines of a strict bubble setup.
Phase 1: Voluntary Individual Workouts (June 12 - June 22)
Currently, teams can make their facilities available to players for voluntary workouts or treatment as long as they abide by league rules. The NBA and teams must inform players during this phase to return to their respective markets by June 22. Players and traveling staff must complete medical history questionnaires to determine if they are cleared to travel. Finally, players and essential staff must self-quarantine at home unless they are traveling to a team facility or essential activity.
- 6/12: Voluntary individual workouts begin
- 6/15: Reporting of players located outside the United States
- 6/22: Required reporting of all players
Phase 2: Required Return to Market and Coronavirus Testing (June 23 - June 30)
Under Phase 2, teams may continue to make their facilities available for voluntary workouts as all players must return to their markets. Teams must operate testing prior to beginning any team-organized training. Any player who tests positive must undergo screening prior to beginning team-organized activities. Finally, teams will conduct mandatory virtual education sessions for essential staff and players.
- 6/23: Required coronavirus testing begins
Phase 3: Required Individual Workouts (July 1 - July (9-11))
Players begin mandatory workouts under controlled conditions during Phase 3. Teams must continue to operate regular testing and temperature screenings for players and essential workers. They must also continue the virtual education sessions.
- 7/1: Required individual workouts begin
Phase 3a, Transitioning from Phase 3 to Phase 4: Travel to Orlando (July (7-9) - July (9-11))
Over these two days, participating teams will travel to Orlando, Florida. Teams are allowed to bring 35 basketball operation staff members, inclusive of all players, coaches, front-office executives and others. This must include a senior executive from the team’s basketball operations department, an athletic trainer, a strength and conditioning coach, an equipment manager and security. Teams must also bring a minimum of 13 players and a maximum of 17.
- 7/7: Travel to Orlando begins
- 7/9: Teams must arrive in Orlando by this date
Phase 4: Team Activities on the Campus (July (9-11) - July 21)
Upon arriving in Orlando, teams may begin group activities under controlled conditions. Players, team staff, league staff, referees and ESPN Arena staff must undergo testing and daily temperature and symptom screenings.
Individuals may also interact with other players under certain conditions. For meals, a player may eat by themselves or with others residing at the same hotel but must remain six feet apart or eat outdoors. Players may also participate in limited social activities with others residing in the same hotel, however, masks are required at all times unless eating or engaging in basketball-related activities.
- 7/9: Team training begins
Phase 5: Inter-Squad Scrimmages on the Campus (July 22 - July 29)
Under Phase 5, team training camps continue and may start allowing inter-squad scrimmages under controlled conditions. Regular testing continues and social and eating restrictions remain.
- 7/22: Inter-squad scrimmaging begins
Restart Phase: July 30 onwards
Beginning July 30, the NBA will restart its season with seeding games. During this time and throughout the season, regular testing will continue. Players and team staff are expected not to leave the campus, and re-entry quarantine protocol will apply to those who leave. For teams that advance past the first round of the playoffs, they may reserve up to 17 additional rooms for players and may be permitted to bring up to two additional staff members.
- 7/30: Season restarts with seeding games
- 8/14: Conclusion of seeding games, certain teams depart Orlando
- 8/15-16: Play-in games (if necessary)
- 8/17: Playoff begins
- 8/30: Family and guests of remaining teams arrive in Orlando
- 8/31-9/13: Conference semifinals
- 9/15-9/28: Conference finals
- 9/30-10/13: NBA Finals
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