Wednesday’s results marked the third straight week that the NBA and the NBA Players Association reported perfect results. Last week, 344 players were tested, with 346 evaluated the prior week without a positive case.
‘It’s a great example for our country,’ San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich told reporters Wednesday. ‘Our leader [NBA commissioner Adam Silver] had a vision and was organized. … And the participants, our citizens, had discipline.’
Wednesday’s results marked the third straight week that the NBA and the NBA Players Association reported perfect results. Last week, 344 players were tested, with 346 evaluated the prior week without a positive case. ‘It’s a great example for our country,’ San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich (near left) told reporters. ‘Our leader [NBA commissioner Adam Silver] had a vision and was organized. … And the participants, our citizens, had discipline’
Jack Studnicka #68 of the Boston Bruins arrives before facing the Philadelphia Flyers in a Round Robin game during the 2020 NHL Stanley Cup Playoff at Scotiabank Arena on Sunday
Like the WNBA in Bradenton, Florida, and the NHL in Toronto and Edmonton, the NBA is finishing its coronavirus-interrupted season inside a proverbial bubble to reduce the risk of infection for players and staff. Currently 22 of the league’s 30 teams are finishing the regular season in Orlando to determine playoff seeding with an eye towards awarding a champion in October.
Should an NBA player return a positive result, he will be quarantined until he is cleared to leave isolation under the protocols approved by both the league and union.
But that hasn’t really been a problem for the NBA since two players tested positive back in early July after arriving at the bubble, where fans and all non-essential personnel are prohibited from entering.
Similarly, the NHL made it through its week of tests without a single positive result, and the WNBA bubble — being referred to by players as the ‘wubble’ — appears to be doing fine as well, although the league has yet to release any new data.
(Left) Dallas Mavericks center Boban Marjanovic hauled what appeared to be a small fish, but he’s 7-foot-4 so it could have been a halibut for all we know. (Right) New York Liberty teammates Joyner Holmes (left), Sabrina Ionescu (center) and Jazmine Jones (right) dance
The Vegas Golden Knights and the Dallas Stars are on the ice for the playing of the American and Canadian national anthems in a Western Conference Round Robin game during the 2020 NHL Stanley Cup Playoff at Rogers Place on Monday in Edmonton, Alberta
Seven WNBA players tested positive between June 25 and July 5 before entering the bubble, and only two initially tested positive afterwards.
‘Once we came out of quarantine, we’ve had no other players test as positive,’ Commissioner Cathy Engelbert said on a conference call on July 22.
Dallas Wings’ Bella Alarie arrives to the arena before the game against the Aces on Sunday
‘Obviously we’ll report out if there’s some significant story there but right now, of course, knock on wood every day, things are stable here and no positive tests since we came out of quarantine a couple of weeks ago.’
The cost of restarting the NBA season in a campus environment in an attempt to ensure safety is over $150 million, ESPN reported in early July.
Among the costs to the NBA are daily tests for COVID-19, treatment and quarantine associated with positive tests, and meals, security, transportation, sanitation of facilities including practice gyms and staging of games at three separate arenas.
The NBA has projected a total loss exceeding $1 billion in revenue related to ticket sales by playing games at the isolated, neutral site and without fans present.
‘It comes into play that we feel an obligation to our sport and to the industry to find a new normal,’ NBA commissioner Adam Silver told Time magazine. ‘It doesn’t come into play in terms of dollars and cents because, frankly, it’s not all that economical for us to play on this campus. It’s enormously expensive.’
A general view of the postgame interview area with socially distanced chairs prior to the game between the New York Islanders and the Florida Panthers in Game Three of the Eastern Conference Qualification Round prior to the 2020 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs in Toronto
Indiana’s Candice Dupree drives to the basket against Atlanta’s Shekinna Stricklen
The NHL has long shown a preference for US expansion but opted for the safety of two hub cities in the Great White North where the pandemic is widely contained.
Members of the Arizona Coyotes staff retrieve a puck that flew in to the stands in the second period against the Nashville Predators in Game Two of the Western Conference Qualification Round prior to the 2020 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs on Tuesday
The Canada/US border remains closed to non-essential travel but for Canadians there are few things more indispensable than hockey.
There was of course nothing sentimental about the NHL’s decision to huddle in Canada but rather a calculated move that has proven astute as the US death toll from COVID-19 recently exceeded 150,000.
Following a four-and-a-half month shutdown, teams have assembled under quarantine bubbles in Toronto (Eastern Conference) and Edmonton (Western Conference), which will also host the best-of-seven Stanley Cup finals scheduled to begin on September 20.
Protective fencing has been constructed around each hotel and arena walling off players for the next two months from the general public.
The NHL has said that approximately 100 security guards and ‘health ambassadors’ will be stationed throughout the downtown Toronto bubble keeping players in and unauthorized people out.
‘It is all one big distraction and at the same time, it isn’t,’ said Carolina Hurricanes coach Rod Brind’Amour after checking into the team hotel. ‘Once you actually get to the rink, the one time that actually feels normal is when you lace your skates up.’