The NBA’s Response to COVID-19

Zach Miller

More stories from Zach Miller

Celtics forward Jayson Tatum takes the ball down the court. Tatum looks to lead the Boston to their first NBA championship win since 2008.

Photo Courtesy of Wikimedia commons

Celtics forward Jayson Tatum takes the ball down the court. Tatum looks to lead the Boston to their first NBA championship win since 2008.

With the NBA season being cut short due to COVID-19, NBA commissioner Adam Silver helped come up with a safe plan to resume play. The idea was to send the players to Orlando, Florida where they would create a bubble. The main restriction of this bubble would be that no players could leave until they are eliminated. Having missed out on sports for so long, this was certainly something to look forward to for WJ sports fans.

Although the bubble seemed great for NBA fans to watch on TV, it was a hard transition for the players. They had to commit to being away from their families for several months. Some players were also worried that they would get bored very easily and it would be difficult living there for such a long period of time. With a bunch of free time on their hands, the players were seen going fishing, playing golf, swimming and participating in many other activities in the bubble.

Senior Jeffery Belovich has found it very entertaining to see what the players have been doing during their time in the bubble.

“I think it would be very cool to be living in a bubble like that where you have access to so much entertainment. It’s great how the 76ers player Matisse Thybulle was blogging about all the stuff he did in the bubble on his YouTube channel to give us fans a sneak peak into the life of an NBA player in the 2020 playoffs,” Belovich said.

Watching the games on TV and not seeing any fans in the stadium was definitely something to get used to. Surrounding the courts in the bubble where the games are played, there are big screens that project fans virtually which makes it seem more like a game feel. Crowd noise has been incorporated as well to try and give the games a realistic playoff atmosphere.

Senior Evan Calhoun has enjoyed watching the NBA playoffs even though it is different this year.

“Usually in the NBA the crowd and home court advantage can play a huge role in a playoff series, but this year I enjoy seeing which teams play well when they can’t feed off a big crowd. It’s great seeing players like Luka Docic and Jamal Murray step up big time in the bubble. It has been awesome to watch,” Calhoun said.

While fans get to witness these memorable basketball games on TV, the people working in the NBA bubble have been underappreciated. They are making sure each player gets tested daily and that nobody is entering or exiting the bubble that shouldn’t be. There have been zero positive coronavirus cases since the start of the bubble which is an incredible feat by the NBA.

Sophomore Caleb Kasten has been pleasantly surprised with how smoothly the transition to the bubble has gone.

“It is amazing to see what a great job all of the people working for the NBA during this time have done. When I first heard about the bubble I wasn’t too sure about how it would hold up, but they have completely proved me wrong. It is great to know for the future if we are ever in a terrible time like this with no sports that now there is a way to play sports safely and give fans what they love to see,” Kasten said.

As the NBA playoffs are currently winding down, fans will patiently await a decision from the NBA about their plans for next season.