Moore: This week could determine if the NBA can finish season in Orlando

Moore: This week could determine if the NBA can finish season in OrlandoOklahoma State and LSU play at the Disney Wide World of Sports Complex in 2018.

The NBA has it all figured out.

Four players and 10 coaches per team are permitted to return to team practice facilities by Tuesday, with eight players allowed July 1.

Teams will start arriving in Orlando on July 7 for training camp at Disney Wide World of Sports, and will live in a “bubble” for what could be a little more than three months. Regular-season games are slated to tip off on the complex’s three courts July 30.

The next two weeks could determine if that timeline remains a viable option.

Players are scheduled to be tested for COVID-19 at the team facilities. While the league is prepared for some positive tests, what happens if a significant number of players test positive?

Players and teams don’t have to announce who tests positive, but the league will know.

Major League Baseball had to shut down all spring training sites Friday. There were reportedly 40 positive tests involving MLB personnel, including five Phillies players and three team staffers.

The NHL’s Tampa Bay Lightning also closed their training facility in the wake of multiple positive tests by players and staffers, and Toronto Maple Leafs star Auston Matthews reportedly tested positive, too.

Along with the number of positive NBA tests being important, so is who tests positive. The more big-name players are on the list, the worse it becomes for the league.

While some could argue positive tests now would be a good thing by having time to quarantine before the real games occur, too many positive tests could mean an end to the restart.

If there’s a threshold that would result in a second suspension of the season, it hasn’t become public knowledge.

Players have been voicing concern with being in Florida, where the number of positive tests remains high. Florida set state records for most reported cases three straight days (Thursday through Saturday), with 4,049 on Saturday before dropping to 3,494 on Sunday.

Orange County, where most of the players will stay, instituted a policy Saturday requiring residents to wear protective masks in public.

The Sixers are one of eight teams assigned to stay at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort. They will have access to a players-only lounge and 24-hour concierge service, and can also attend games involving the other teams staying at the Grand Floridian (the Thunder, Rockets, Pacers, Mavericks, Nets, Grizzlies and Magic).

While it’s nice the Sixers can interact with players from those teams and remain in the “bubble,” there will also be Disney employees coming and going. The players are aware of this and some aren’t particularly fond of the idea. I don’t blame them.

Put it all together and don’t be surprised if more than a few players choose not to participate in Orlando due to health concerns.

The only person on the 22 participating teams to say he’ll sit out thus far, according to an ESPN report, is the Wizards’ Davis Bertans, though he’s apparently doing so largely because he is an impending free agent and doesn’t want to risk an injury after overcoming a pair of torn ACLs.

Maybe there won’t be too many positive tests and everything will proceed as the NBA has planned through the mid-October conclusion of the NBA Finals. That would be ideal.

But there’s also a real possibility for dozens of positive tests, which could create a difficult decision for a league that has crowned a champion every year since its inception in 1949-50 and doesn’t want that to change now.

Tom Moore:; @TomMoorePhilly


News Related


Trump’s ‘mission accomplished’ moment is premature and deadly. We have not defeated COVID.

Desperate for crowds and adoration, Trump has put his most fervent supporters at risk of getting a deadly disease. Future historians will be astonished. Read more »

NFLPA president JC Tretter says NFL is putting season, players at risk with its coronavirus approach

NFL Players Association president JC Tretter said Tuesday the NFL is putting the 2020 season at risk with its coronavirus approach, calling on the league to better “prioritize player safety.” “Like many other... Read more »

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro says he tested positive for the coronavirus

RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro says he has tested positive for COVID-19 after months of downplaying the virus’ severity. Bolsonaro confirmed the test results while wearing a mask and... Read more »

Venice Film Festival forges ahead amid COVID-19 pandemic with reduced lineup

The show will go on for the Venice Film Festival in September, but with a few modifications due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Organizers said Tuesday that they are pushing forward with plans for... Read more »

Amtrak offers buy-one, get-one promotion on its sleeper trains amid COVID-19 — with a catch

Amtrak wants you to have sweet dreams the next time you travel — so much so that it’s sweetening the deal on its sleeper “roomettes.” The rail service is offering a buy-one-get-one-free discount... Read more »

Florida teen treated with hydroxychloroquine at home before dying of COVID-19, report says

FORT MEYERS, Fla. – The family of a 17-year-old Florida girl who died last month from COVID-19 treated her symptoms at home for nearly a week before taking her to a hospital, a... Read more »

Mookie Betts worried MLB coronavirus testing woes could prevent him from ever playing for Dodgers

During nearly four months away from the game, Mookie Betts said he “stayed away from baseball to keep myself sane.” It’s not hard to understand why. The 2018 American League Most Valuable Player... Read more »

Tom Hanks doesn’t get ‘how common sense has somehow been put into question’ with coronavirus

Read more »

Can Gov. DeSantis force Florida schools to reopen amid the coronavirus pandemic? Some school leaders seem doubtful.

PALM BEACH, Fla. — As concern about the state order spread online, some school leaders said: Not so fast. As Florida educators puzzle over how to start the new academic year, Gov. Ron... Read more »

Texas surpasses 200,000 coronavirus cases after 4th of July holiday weekend

AUSTIN, Texas – Texas reached 200,000 total COVID-19 cases Monday, just 17 days after crossing the 100,000 threshold, a figure that took the state nearly four months to hit. The grim milestone came... Read more »