Bubble (No) Trouble: The Success Of The NBA’s Plan to Combat Coronavirus

As the end of the NBA season fast approaches, the success of the NBA’s “bubble” plan has become more and more apparent over time.

NBA commissioner Adam Silver first vowed for the season to return in June, following a hiatus dating back to March 11, when the league suspended operations due to COVID-19 concerns. 

Multiple games were taking place at the time; players, fans and coaches alike were dumbfounded by the message displayed on Jumbotrons: “Per the NBA, tonight’s game has been postponed.”

Following the sudden and untimely stoppage of the NBA’s regular season, NBA commissioner Adam Silver openly addressed the difficulty of making the sport playable alongside COVID-19. 

“We know that COVID-19 will be with us for the foreseeable future,” said Silver. “We are left with no choice but to learn to live with this virus.”

As the public learned to live with the pandemic, so too did the NBA. Determined to resume and complete the season, the NBA agreed to play at Walt-Disney World in Orlando within a “bubble,” wherein the players, coaches, etc. would live “on-campus” while playing the remainder of the season and playoffs, if qualified.

The bubble plan was a resounding success. Nearly three months after resuming play, the NBA has reported a total of zero coronavirus cases among all of those residing in the bubble.

Barring a few hiccups by players – such as ordering outside food, inviting unwelcome guests into their rooms and so on – as of the beginning of the NBA Finals, the bubble has yet to be breached. 

While it was not without its skeptics and doubters, “the bubble season” will be remembered as an anomaly – and more than that, a success.

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