The NBA season will resume at the end of the month after being suspended since March 11 due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The 22 teams selected to finish out the season (the top 16 teams in the Eastern and Western conferences, plus six more teams within six games of eighth place in the two conferences) will convene at the Walt Disney World resort in Orlando, Florida, where all the games will be played. Players are arriving this week, July 7-9, and will participate in team training camps and scrimmages until games start on July 30.
In June, the National Basketball Players Association (NBPA) sent a 113-page health and safety manual to players based on guidance from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). The document outlines everything from the safety protocols that will be enforced on campus to how often players will be tested for coronavirus to what happens if someone does test positive, according to The Athletic, which obtained the full memo.
When players arrive on campus, they have to stay isolated until they receive two negative Covid-19 PCR tests at least 24 hours apart. During their initial quarantining period, players will be provided with Fire TV sticks and gaming hook-ups, wellness resources, social justice programming and food and beverages in their hotel rooms.
Some players shared pictures of their first "bubble meals," which included salad, pasta, grilled chicken and sides like potato chips and watermelon slices:
Here's a close-up of the main dish:
Throughout the season, which will wrap up no later than October 13, players will undergo regular PCR testing and daily temperature checks. They also have the option of wearing a "proximity alarm" when they're off-court, which will alert them if they spend more than five seconds within six feet of another person also wearing an alarm.
Many rules are designed to keep everyone in the bubble safe: When players are off-court, they're expected to maintain physical distance at all times and wear a face mask, except when in their rooms, doing a workout or eating. On-court, they're asked to avoid spitting or clearing their nose, wiping the ball with their jersey and unnecessarily touching their mouthguard.
Players also aren't allowed into anyone else's hotel room at any time. They're expected to remain on campus, but if they have to leave and later re-enter, "a re-entry/quarantine protocol will apply," the manual explains.
Anyone on campus can call an anonymous hotline to report people not following the rules. Plus, each team will designate two staff members to be the "health officer" and "backup health officer," who will be responsible for making sure all members of the team follow the protocols.
NBA commissioner Adam Silver is "absolutely convinced that it will be safer on this campus than off this campus," he told TIME in June, adding: "In some ways, this is maybe a model for how other industries ultimately open."
Besides detailing the safety protocols, the memo includes the amenities and entertainment options available to players in the "Disney World bubble."
Teams will be split into three hotels: the Gran Destino, the Grand Floridian and the Yacht Club. The hotel placement isn't random — it's based on seeding, with the top teams staying at the Gran Destino, The Athletic's Shams Charania reports. (The Gran Destino is the newest hotel in Disney World, having opened in July 2019.)
Hotel amenities include a players-only lounge with TVs and gaming options, a pool, trails for running and riding bikes, barbers, and manicurists and pedicurists.
For daily entertainment, there will be movie screenings, video games, ping pong, pool and lawn games. Mental health services will also be available, plus yoga and meditation.
Specific protocols will be in place for certain activities: headsets aren't allowed during video gaming, decks of cards will be disposed after each use and ping pong will be limited to singles matches — no doubles.