NBA Commissioner Silver Worried That Increase In Positive COVID-19 Cases Could Shut Down League Restart
The first six NBA teams arrived at Walt Disney World on Tuesday ahead of the league’s restart later this month. All players and staff were tested prior to leaving and upon arrival for COVID-19, but as positive cases for the virus in Florida have risen dramatically in recent weeks, it leaves some concerned about the possibility of the NBA’s bubble being shut down.
One of the people who is most concerned is league commissioner Adam Silver, who while speaking to ESPN expressed how his level of concern has risen in the last few weeks. “I think we do have the ability to trace, of course to try to understand where that positive case came from. We can actually analyze the virus itself and try to track whether if there is more than one case, if it’s in essence the same virus and same genetic variation of the virus that is passed from one player to another or two people have gotten it on the campus independently. So those are all things that we are looking at. Certainly if we had any sort of significant spread within our campus, we would be shut down again.”
Silver’s plan for the league remains still full steam ahead, and he is hopeful that the league can complete the remainder of its season inside the Disney World bubble. It is not clear what a “significant spread” would constitute for the league to shut down.
As Silver tries to maintain confidence among teams and fans, players have been a little more vocal, as numerous notable players have opted to sit-out the restart in recent days including Victor Oladipo, Spencer Dinwiddie, DeAndre Jordan, Bradley Beal and Avery Bradley. Not all of these players are sitting because of concerns of the virus, but COVID-19 has been a big issue and more and more players are considering such a route.
Another thing the NBA will have to keep an eye on is the MLS, as they are also doing their season restart tournament in Walt Disney World, and they have seen a significant number of positive cases for COVID-19 and have also seen one of its teams, FC Dallas, being forced to sit out entirely after numerous positive tests.