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Opting Out of the NBA Disney Bubble

With Adam Silver announcing July 30th as the official return of the NBA season, it has left many wondering if players can opt out of the return due to the Coronavirus.

On Wednesday, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski tweeted that there is “a faction of players discussing as a group whether restarting season in the Orlando bubble is a good idea.” With the return of the NBA season, many have wondered what options a team will have if a player refuses to return for many reasons. 

Shortly after, Wojnarowski tweeted that the NBA and NBPA are working together on finding a fair solution for players who refuse to play. “The NBA and NBPA are expected to agree on a provision that wouldn’t require players to restart the season, nor subject them to discipline for staying home, sources tell ESPN. The players would lose a portion of salary for those games missed.” 

My initial reaction to the tweet was that it would be unfair to not pay the players for refusing to play. The NBA cannot guarantee a player’s safety from contracting coronavirus. They must understand that what they are asking of their players is far from the usual expectations.

Wojnarowski also revealed that teams can expect to be in the Orlando bubble for at least 35 days for non-playoffs teams and at least 53 days for the first-round of the playoffs. In that time players are not allowed to leave the Disney campus to maintain integrity of the Disney bubble.

It is unrealistic to expect players to embrace a grind of just playing basketball and staying in a hotel. It is only a matter of time until a player chooses to leave the Disney Bubble, where they’ll have a chance of bringing the virus back with them.

The NBA has also given teams a solution if they do have a player that opts out. “NBA plans to allow replacements for players who test positive for COVID-19 or suffer injuries.” If a player has contract coronavirus it is good to know that the team has an option to replace them with someone who can contribute


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