Inside the NBA's bubble setup at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex during resumed 2020 season
What will it be like to live in an NBA bubble? For any NBA player and coach, it seems pretty nice.
A needed caveat: the 22-participating teams will face serious adjustments for a resumed season beginning July 30 at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at the Disney World Resort outside of Orlando. They will have to follow strict safety protocols, including receiving multiple tests for COVID-19 and maintaining strict social distancing rules. The teams will likely experience rustiness since they have not played in a competitive game for just over three months. Players, coaches and staff members will go for a month and a half before a limited number of family and guests can visit beginning on Aug. 30.
But as far as their living arrangements? Not to burst the NBA’s bubble, but anyone who has a problem with the amenities are already living in their own bubble. USA TODAY Sports obtained the NBA’s manual outlining what quarantined life will be like.
Where NBA teams will stay
NBA teams no longer have home-court advantage. Nor will they have fans in the stands. But teams were assigned to one of three deluxe hotels based on the current standings in each conference.
The championship contenders will stay at the Gran Destino Tower at Coronado Springs (Los Angeles Lakers, Los Angeles Clippers, Denver Nuggets, Utah Jazz, Milwaukee Bucks, Toronto Raptors, Boston Celtics, Miami Heat). The middle seeds will stay at the Grand Floridian (Indiana Pacers, Philadelphia 76ers, Brooklyn Nets, Orlando Magic, Oklahoma City Thunder, Houston Rockets, Dallas Mavericks, Memphis Grizzlies). The playoff bubble teams will stay at the Yacht Club (Portland Trail Blazers, New Orleans Pelicans, Sacramento Kings, San Antonio Spurs, Phoenix Suns, Washington Wizards).
Teams are going to have to maintain social distancing rules. But if teams want to create a competitive edge, they could go for the late-night phone pranks, early morning wake-up calls or charging another team for room service. Then again, all of those things are pretty juvenile. During these times, it’s better to just be kind.
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How NBA teams will play
The teams will play and practice at three different facilities, including The Arena (two practice courts, weights and training area, locker rooms ), HP Fieldhouse (weights and training area) and VISA Athletic Center (one practice court, weights and training area and locker rooms.
Each team also will have access to seven practice facilities that have a combined 16 practice courts on the various hotel properties. Each practice court has four baskets, a weight room and a training room. The NBA will organize practice times for each team in three-hour blocks. There will also be open gyms that players can reserve, while teams can reserve a walk-through room the side of a half-court. Each hotel has training rooms for treatment and rehab as well as meeting rooms for film sessions.
How NBA teams can entertain themselves
Teams might be required to stay on the Disney property. But in between practices and games, they will have plenty of options to keep themselves entertained.
Each hotel has a players-only lounge with NBA2k, TV’s, arcade games and ping-pong tables. It has resort-style outdoor space that has a set up for pool access and card games. The property has enough land for teams to go fishing, golfing, bowling, boating, bike riding and running as well as access to Disney’s Animal Kingdom and Disney’s Wild Africa Trek. The hotel has a 24-hour concierge service that includes movie screenings, DJ sets, video games, pool tables, ping-pong and lawn games.
For those worried about their personal needs, players can make appointments with selected barbers, manicurists, pedicurists and hair braiders. There are also virtual chaplain, yoga, meditation and mental health services available.