Disney World emerges as potential site for NBA season relaunch

The NBA confirmed on Sunday that it is considering finishing the suspended season at Disney World in Florida.

“The NBA, in conjunction with the National Basketball Players Association, is engaged in exploratory conversations with the Walt Disney Company about restarting the 2019-20 NBA season in late July at Disney’s ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Florida as a single site for an NBA campus for games, practices and housing,” NBA spokesman Mike Bass said. “Our priority continues to be the health and safety of all involved … to ensure that the appropriate medical protocols and protections are in place.”

The 2019-20 NBA season has been suspended since March 11 after Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert tested positive for COVID-19.

On May 8, the league allowed teams to open training facilities if stay-at-home regulations had been eased by city and state governments. But rules restrict workouts to less than five players at a time due to COVID-19 concerns.

Teams, of course, need to hold training camps. Doing so before or after arriving at Disney World to prepare for whatever schedule is approved.

A look ahead

Published reports indicate that NBA officials and players will hold Friday talks on relaunching the season at Disney World.

Bass, however, didn’t mention specifics about the scheduling issues.

Polling for Disney World plan

Indeed, the league is weighing its options, as evidenced by a recent survey of general managers.

GMs were queried about a potential play-in tournament to determine the full playoff field, how many teams they want to see in the playoffs, etc., The Athletic reported.

On the outskirts of Orlando

The Disney World Complex has several arenas on its nearly 40-square mile property. In addition, there are about 24,000 hotels rooms there.

As a result, the NBA could set up a secluded environment to house teams and operate.

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