Suns general manager James Jones told The Arizona Republic he “trust(s) the judgement and decision of the NBA/NBPA’s leadership” when asked about the possibility of playing next season in a bubble. “They’ve done such a good job with giving us protocols and ways to stay safe,” Suns coach Monty Williams said. “Nobody’s gotten the virus. So it’s one that I think every sport can duplicate. As it relates to doing it again, I’d be all for it, but I think we got to figure out a way to involve our families.”
No fans, no home-court advantage, but safety was the main priority when deciding to resume the 2019-20 season that had been on hold since March 11. The NBA has achieved that so far, but would the league be willing to start next season in a bubble environment? "I don't think you can discount nor will I say we have discounted the possibility of continuing this protocol for the next season," National Basketball Players Association executive director Michele Roberts in an Friday interview with SiriusXM NBA Radio.
"Now no one wants to be in the bubble for six straight months, that’s insane. So it may be multiple bubbles, it may be multiple bubbles with a period of time away from the bubble and maybe we won’t have a bubble at all, but for sure, that is the scenario or those are scenarios that are being considered because, again, the virus does dictate what our restrictions will and will not be."
Is the Orlando bubble a possible destination for the eight teams left out of the restart to run offseason training camps once the first batch of 22 teams are eliminated? The NBPA has no interest in that idea, sources said. It's a non-starter. The inevitable solution for the eight teams left out of Orlando: The NBA and NBPA agreeing upon voluntary workouts in the team facilities, sources said. The NBPA won't agree to mandatory reporting for players on the eight teams outside of the restart but will eventually allow it on a voluntary level, sources said. Several of the teams are frustrated and angry over how far they feel they're falling behind the teams in the bubble, and are aggressively voicing that to the league office.
We’re a ways off from next season, but league sources have told me that the NBA is looking at options that include creating regional bubbles, should the COVID-19 pandemic still prevent normal business in the fall. Teams would report to a bubble for short stints—around a month—which would be followed by 1-2 weeks off. Ideally, the NBA would like to play an 82-game schedule that starts in December. A December start would allow the league to end the season in late June, putting the NBA back on a normal schedule and, importantly, not compete with the Olympics next summer. The players union is expected to take issue with that, preferring teams, particularly those making deep playoff runs, have more time off.
Adrian Wojnarowski: NBA’s priority remains to get fans into arenas next season. Regional pods for extended periods are among brainstorms, but preference would be that those are finite in length, sources said. For example: A month or two inside, a month out. Early in planning; everything's on table.
Australian NBA star Joe Ingles is open to playing an entire NBA season inside a bubble if the coronavirus continues to effect sport next year. He even revealed league officials had already spoken to the players about the potential of tutors for their children.
Ingles said NBA officials had spoken to players about how schooling may work for their children if the league was forced to continue in the bubble for a season. “There is a lot that would have to happen, but there have been discussion of bringing in tutors and a little classroom school,” Ingles said. “That is the level that it would have to be at, but the NBA is one of the best businesses in the world, and if anyone was going to pull it off, the NBA could.”
Ingles believes the main challenge of extending the bubble for a full season, which would be a minimum of six months, would be including loved ones. “Guys aren’t going without their families,” he said. “We were talking about this the other night my significant others would be my family. But for one of my teammates it might be his brother or his mum, so finding the balance of how many people and where you do that to have enough accommodation for 30 teams, including 40 staff and players in our group and that was a really small number that the NBA were trying to keep tight so we weren’t having too many people. If you are there all year you have to bring extra people.”
As the NBA prepares to officially restart its season in its bubble inside Walt Disney World Resort on Thursday -- and other sports, most notably Major League Baseball, struggle to deal with the ongoing coronavirus pandemic -- National Basketball Players Association executive director Michele Roberts said returning to a bubble might be the only feasible way for the NBA to complete next season, as well.
"If tomorrow looks like today, I don't know how we say we can do it differently," Roberts told ESPN in a phone interview Tuesday afternoon. "If tomorrow looks like today, and today we all acknowledge -- and this is not Michele talking, this is the league, together with the PA and our respective experts saying, 'This is the way to do it' -- then that's going to have to be the way to do it."
In a call with the players back in May, NBA commissioner Adam Silver said money generated from live game attendance could account for up to 40 percent of the league's annual revenue. Roberts said the two sides are "beginning some very high-level discussions with respect to what the potential issues are," and said the laborious process that was necessary for the NBA and the union to hash out how to put the bubble together, and then actually go through the process of doing so, "took just about all of the oxygen out of the room."
November 27, 2020 | 10:05 pm EST Update
Scott Agness: Free agent guard Brian Bowen has re-signed with the Pacers on a two-way deal. The Pacers have 19 of 20 training camp spots filled.
Although he was competing on the golf course Friday during “The Match” on TNT, Warriors star Steph Curry is eager to get back on the court with his teammates. “I’m ready to roll. Nice and rested. We’ve got a great opportunity to come back strong,” Curry said during Friday’s event. “We’re excited to get back out there and compete … Looking forward to it. We got practice tomorrow. Going to enjoy this last round for sure.”
November 27, 2020 | 8:45 pm EST Update
Dwain Price: The #Mavs have acquired F James Johnson from OKC in a 3-team trade. The Mavs shipped F Justin Jackson to OKC and G Delon Wright to the Pistons, who sent F Trevor Ariza to OKC. The Thunder also received a 2023 2nd-round pick from DAL or Miami, and a 2026 2nd-round pick from DAL.
Justin Jackson: THANK YOU to everyone @Dallas Mavericks for EVERYTHING! Y’all made this time unbelievable! To all my boys, KEEP BEING GREAT!! Sometimes God asks you to just trust Him and even though it’s a closing of a chapter, I can’t wait to begin writing this new chapter with the @Oklahoma City Thunder!!
Not even Charles Barkley as a partner could stop Phil Mickelson from emerging victorious in the third iteration of The Match on Friday. Mickelson and the NBA Hall of Famer cruised to a 4-and-3 win over Peyton Manning and Stephen Curry at Stone Canyon Golf Club in Arizona, confirming that having a professional golfer on your side can make up for a lot of mistakes in a foursome.