The 2020 NBA season is well underway thanks to a strict “bubble” safety plan put together by the state of Florida, Walt Disney World, and the NBA.
Back in March, the season was suspended after Rudy Gobert mocked the coronavirus and ended up causing a spread within his team. The season officially resumed at the end of July in Orlando with strict guidelines in place for players, staff, and workers at the Magic Kingdom. One of the strictest–and probably the most difficult–rules came in the form of no family or guests being allowed inside of the bubble. That also meant multi-millionaires would be taken away from their normal luxurious lifestyle and be in a tiny hotel room for three months straight.
The media and fans quickly wondered how the NBA would keep players from sneaking women into the bubble for, ahem, extracurricular activities. The league maintained that sneaking wouldn’t be possible and even opened a tip line that they stated has been pretty active.
Of course, this didn’t stop the drama from arising, as noted with Lou Williams being spotted at Magic City after leaving the bubble for a funeral.
With the playoffs starting soon, the NBA is moving to allow players to have companionship inside the bubble as the headcount is dropping with teams leaving due to elimination. ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski gave a look at the protocol for guests and the language involved is providing laughs from all sports fans.
Among the restrictions are guidelines that players “can’t invite people they have never met or have only had limited interactions with.”
Basically, no flying out Instagram models or groupies as the NBA is a family-friendly organization and the last thing they need is a public relations nightmare. Each player is allowed one ticket per playoff game for a guest and one ticket for a child that is 32 inches and below. Also listed in restrictions are tattoo artists, trainers, business partners, and personal chefs.
Even with these strict guidelines, we already know someone will get caught slipping in some fashion and give us some amazing headlines.