Sports

Mark Cuban: The NBA has an 'advantage' over the NFL with player pandemic safety

Key Points
  • Dallas Mavericks Mark Cuban called the NBA's plan to restart its season on July 30 a "big psychological experiment."
  • The players are "adapting well" and "getting along great," Cuban told CNBC.
  • "If people in the real world outside of the NBA follow the masking protocols the same way that NBA players are, we'd already be dealing with this virus," Cuban said.
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Dallas Mavericks Mark Cuban called the NBA's plan to restart its season on July 30 at Orlando's Walt Disney World a "big psychological experiment."

In a CNBC "Squawk Box" interview on Monday, the billionaire tech investor also said the National Basketball Association is better prepared to restart play than the National Football League.

The NBA in March became the first major U.S. sports league to suspend its season due to coronavirus concerns. It is creating a "bubble" campus for 22 teams in Florida. The plan depends on frequent coronavirus testing and mass quarantine in one location.

The players are "adapting well" and "getting along great," according to Cuban, who said he could only speak to the Mavericks' situation. He said players are wearing masks and following the health protocols.

The NBA has the "advantage" over the NFL, which is getting ready to start training camps for its 2020 regular season, said Cuban. Under the restart's modified protocol, NBA teams can bring 15 to 17 players to Orlando. NFL teams have over 50 players in addition to larger staffs. The NFL doesn't have plans to hold games in a bubble like the NBA. Instead, games will be played at each team's stadium.

"We have one location, we're able to keep everything under control," said Cuban.

In contrast, he said that type of single-location quarantine would be "very difficult" for the NFL and he has not heard the NFL is considering such a plan. NFL stars such as Russell Wilson and J.J. Watt recently voiced their concerns about the league's health and safety plans for players and their families.  

While sports may be an escape for Americans, their return could provide applicable lessons for the general public, Cuban said.

"If people in the real world outside of the NBA follow the masking protocols the same way that NBA players are, we'd already be dealing with this virus and be way ahead of where we are now," he said.

Disclosure: CNBC owns the exclusive off-network cable rights to "Shark Tank," which features Mark Cuban as a panelist.