The NBA has developed a well-thought-out plan that may allow it to finish the 2019-20 season, despite the coronavirus. If everyone does what they should, the NBA will complete the season and have a champion by mid-October.
Basically, the plan calls for players to be kept in a “bubble” in which they are isolated from the public, and, hopefully, isolated from COVID-19. To further ensure the players’ safety, they are tested daily. They are even given a ring that monitors vital signs continuously.
There are at least two issues, however. First, the virus is raging in Florida. The Orlando bubble is literally inside a COVID-19 epicenter, and that leaves little room for error.
Second, even with all sorts of monitoring and tracking technology, how do you ensure that players won’t break the rules either by escaping the bubble, or by bringing someone who might have the virus into the bubble? We are, after all, talking about hundreds of young males, and that’s a lot of testosterone to keep under wraps.
One might think that the prospect of winning a title should be incentive enough for players to follow the rules, but, realistically, only three or four teams, barring something unusual, have a chance to win the title. But, as luck would have it, one of the first players cited for breaking a bubble rule was Dwight Howard, who plays on the Lakers, which is the team considered most likely to win the championship.
Additional incentives were obviously needed, and the NBA and the players union have agreed that any player who follows the rules will not be subjected to drug testing for the remainder of the calendar year. Obviously, neither the players nor the teams are publicizing this common sense solution.
Sources also tell us that the NBA is considering a player proposal that would allow for a number of screened groupies to be brought into the bubble. The NBA has, in the meantime, agreed to pay for an unlimited number of adult entertainment films for each player.
All this might just save the season for the NBA. Right now, the official odds on all this working, is at about 70 percent. One who believes the NBA will succeed needs to put up $250 to win $100. One who believes the project will fail needs to put up $100 to win $170. We’ll see where these numbers are in a month.