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Los Angeles Lakers guard/forward LeBron James gave his vote of confidence for the NBA‘s safety protocols within its Florida bubble, where the league will finish its 2019-20 season amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I believe the NBA and Adam Silver took all precautionary measures to make sure that we as a league are as safe as we can be. Obviously there can be things that can happen, but we’ll cross that line if it happens,” James said, per Lakers reporter Mike Trudell.
He continued: “… We’re doing everything from a league, from every franchise, to make sure everyone stays safe during COVID-19, during this pandemic.”
James also expressed confidence in Silver, saying the commissioner “has given me no reason to never not believe him since he took over.”
The campaign has been suspended since March 11 because of the COVID-19 pandemic but is scheduled to restart July 30.
Twenty-two of the league’s 30 NBA teams are finishing the season at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Kissimmee, Florida.
Teams will play eight regular-season games before beginning a 16-team postseason that will run into October.
The NBA released a 113-page health-and-safety protocol outlining all the rules that teams must abide by as the league looks to mitigate risks of people testing positive for COVID-19, per Sopan Deb and Scott Cacciola of the New York Times.
Restricted movement is tops on the list, as the ESPN-Disney property has been cordoned off from the rest of the general populace. Leaving the Disney bubble without permission would entail an automatic 10-day quarantine.
Players can’t spend time together in hotel rooms, and all recreational activities are to be performed with social distancing in mind. Of note, no doubles pingpong is allowed at Disney World.
The rules even go so far as to ban postgame showers at the facilities where players will practice and play. All showering must be done back in their hotel rooms.
The three teams are split up at the Gran Destino Tower in Coronado Springs, the Grand Floridian and the Yacht Club.
The NBA has seemingly uncovered every safety angle as the league looks to pull off a Herculean task of finishing the season amid the pandemic, which has spread rapidly in Florida.
The state’s department of health reported that 10,383 new cases appeared Friday alone, marking the third time Florida has passed 10,000 cases in one day.
That could create a challenge for the NBA, but for now, the league appears to have pulled out all the stops in hopes of finishing the 2019-20 season. At the very least, it has the backing of the game’s biggest star.