The NBA season wrapped up on October 11th, concluding the bubble that kept players and associates away from home for 3 months. The NBA successfully created an entirely COVID-19 safe bubble to protect everyone associated with the competing teams.
When the pandemic struck America, fans were unsure what to expect with the NBA and sports in general. Many sports leagues have attempted to return to play throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, some being more successful than others, such as the MLB. The MLB had over 40 games postponed due to Covid-19. Through the entire 2020 regular season, the MLB had 57 players test positive for the virus. However, they did manage to get cases down much more as the season progressed. The last 8 teams remaining in the MLB postseason were placed in bubble environments.
The NBA had the most successful bubble plan in all of sports. The pandemic struck midway through the 2019-2020 NBA season. The league shut down for almost four months, until they were finally able to come up with a solid plan that they thought could work. They set the date on July 30th to resume regular season games. The NBA brought 22 of the 30 teams to Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida, where they would be contained in the giant resort for nearly 100 days. “When the idea was first broached, it didn’t sound logistically realistic,” said Adam Silver, the commissioner of the NBA. Even though they didn’t believe it would be successful at first, the plan worked perfectly. Throughout this time in the bubble, the league had 0 positive Covid-19 tests. Everyone in the bubble was given saliva tests for the virus every other day. The NBA also didn’t hesitate to remove anyone who broke bubble protocol, even though they very rarely had to actually take action. Though everyone wishes it was possible to have a completely normal season, it wasn’t, and won’t be for a while. When asked about the NBA bubble, Lebron James said, “It’s 2020, nothing is normal in 2020.” The NBA’s success raises the question, why don’t more leagues perform a similar bubble plan?