"No Chance" NBA Returns To A 'Bubble': Report


As players continue to drop out of NBA lineups, and games are being cancelled all over the league, one thing is sure as the NBA figures out how to deal with the COVID omicron variant surge: There is "no chance" the league will return to a 'bubble' format, according to a team executive.  

The unnamed source told Eric Pincus of Bleacher Report that "the notion of another bubble was shot down" by many around the league. "Not going to happen," said the exec. 

The NBA resumed the end of the 2020 season and playoffs in the Orlando 'bubble', where all players, team and league staff were not permitted to leave the Disney World grounds. All games were played without fans. 

There are a number of reasons that will not be an option this time around, according to the report:

  1. Players "would not go for that lifestyle again."
  2. The cost of executing and maintaining the 'bubble' was too exorbitant.
  3. The NBA and NBPA "can't afford to lose the ticket revenue."
As Pincus says, since the league won't suspend the season, and won't go to a bubble, they'll have to "find a way to adapt to the world as is."

One of the fallbacks to continuing, is that nearly the entire player base is vaccinated, according to NBPA president CJ McCollum. "We were at 98, we might even be around 99 percent vaccinated right now," McCollum said. 

The vaccines have been doing what they're supposed to do: prevent serious illness. There have been no instances reported of any NBA players with COVID being hospitalized, thanks to that 98-99% vaccination status. The problem, of course, is that many coaches and support staff are much older than the players, and therefore have higher risk of complications. 

To try to limit game cancellations, the league has introduced new relief for teams, allowing them to sign one replacement player for every player placed in health and safety protocols. 

Photo Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports