NBA players could be joining MLS players at Walt Disney World as leagues plan to resume play
According to sources at ESPN the NBA’s board of governors will be holding a conference call Thursday at 12:30 pm to approve a league proposal on a 22-team format to restart the season in Orlando, Florida.
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski says that league commissioner “Adam Silver and the league’s advisory/finance committee have shared the broad details of a plan with teams to play at The Walt Disney World Resort, sources said.”
According to sources, ESPN says the plan for the restart of the NBA season “includes 13 Western Conference teams and nine Eastern Conference teams, eight regular-season games, a possible play-in tournament for the eighth seed, and playoffs.”
The return-to-play plan is somewhat confusing. According to one inside source, the plan includes 13 Western Conference teams and 9 Eastern Conference teams, eight regular-season games, a possible play-in tournament for the eighth seed, and playoffs.
The league says teams within 6 games of eighth place in the two conferences will be included for the regular season games. These are: New Orleans, Portland, San Antonio, Sacramento, Phoenix and Washington. The teams finishing in 8th and 9th after the eight regular season games will have to compete in a play-in tournament if the 9th place team finishes within four games of the 8th seed.
The NBA and NBAPA are still sorting out details but teams could begin full in Orlando in late July one month after the MLS plan to resume play in Orlando.
If this all comes to fruition Walt Disney World is going to be one giant hotspot for athletes and thrill-seekers come July. It doesn’t sound like the best idea to bring so many people together in one place during the COVID-19 pandemic but the NBA says it is planning to have numerous safety measures in place including uniform, daily testing for the coronavirus and if a player tests positive for the virus, the league has said it will remove that player from the team to quarantine and treat individually while continuing to test other team members as they play on, sources told ESPN.
There will be all sorts of safety protocols in place for athletes, coaches and Disney employees says ESPN reporter Ramona Shelburne.