NBA Commissioner Adam Silver Shares How the 2021 Season Will Work Without the Bubble
The NBA is back!
Tuesday marks the first games of the 2020-2021 basketball season, less than three months after the Los Angeles Lakers won the 2020 NBA Finals and nine months after the death of Kobe Bryant.
While the latest season was held entirely within the NBA bubble at Florida's Walt Disney World campus to keep players isolated amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the bubble will be no more for the 2021 season as players resume games at their team arenas.
In an interview with Good Morning America on Tuesday, NBA commissioner Adam Silver discussed the 2021 season and his expectations for the return to arenas.
"Similar to what baseball did for their regular season, similar to what the NFL is doing now, players are going to be living at home," said Silver, 58. "We're playing in arenas. And so it raises different issues by virtue of being indoors."
He added, "So far, our protocols seem to be holding up."
Silver went on to say that the league has "learned a lot" from the MLB and NFL's seasons amid the pandemic, "particularly around testing protocols."
"The testing is designed so that if we do have a positive case, that player can quickly be isolated from his teammates to avoid obviously what would be terrible, which is a spread of the entire team," he said.
Silver also addressed when he thinks the league will likely receive the COVID-19 vaccine. "In terms of vaccine, it goes without saying we would never jump the line … " he said. "As far as I know, we aren't even in line yet, but no chance we would jump the line in any way."
And though the NBA teams will return to their designated arenas amid the pandemic, certain teams have announced different measures for fan attendance. Some teams said they would allow a limited number of fans to attend games, while others are only allowing the friends and family of players in the stands. Other teams have made the decision not to let fans attend games at all, according to NBA.com
The upcoming season is shortened to 72 games, which is 10 games fewer than in a typical, 82-game season. It follows a whirlwind off-season that saw the draft on Nov. 18 and training camps opening on Dec. 1.
The opening night doubleheader kicks off at 7:00 p.m. ET on Tuesday with a game between the Golden State Warriors and the Brooklyn Nets. Their game is followed by a match between the Lakers and the Los Angeles Clippers at 10 p.m. ET.
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