NBA Teams Reportedly Inquiring About Holding Training Camps at Bubble Sites

Blake SchusterCorrespondent IIIMay 22, 2020

NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 12: An NBA logo is shown at the 5th Avenue NBA store on March 12, 2020 in New York City. The National Basketball Association said they would suspend all games after player Rudy Gobert of the Utah Jazz reportedly tested positive for the coronavirus. (Photo by Jeenah Moon/Getty Images)
Jeenah Moon/Getty Images

NBA franchises in New York, Boston and Toronto were among those who approached the league office about sending their players directly to proposed bubble sites to resume practice amid the coronavirus pandemic.

According to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, teams based in cities where stay-at-home orders have remained in place would prefer to avoid quarantining their players twice—once when they gather in their home markets and again when they arrive at the bubble site. 

Adrian Wojnarowski @wojespn

Teams prefer to avoid having to quarantine significant portions of their rosters twice; once upon returning to more restrictive Covid-19 markets and again upon arrival at the bubble/campus site. https://t.co/2ARTFUK6rQ


While NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said a decision on restarting the season may not come until June, a plan to host teams at one or two central locations has continued to gain traction. Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida, and Las Vegas are considered likely locations, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium.

The NBA is set to have a Board of Governors call next Friday, and Wojnarowski added organizations "are expecting the league to instruct them to start recalling players to their team's markets around June 1."

That's created challenges for executives and players in areas where COVID-19 guidelines remain more stringent, per Wojnarowski:

"Executives from Brooklyn, Boston, New York and Toronto were among those on Thursday's General Manager's call with the league office who expressed concern about how waiting on the league to release a timetable complicates their ramp-ups to return in ways that are unique to those marketplaces, sources said.

"For example, here's what Raptors All-Star guard Kyle Lowry wants to avoid: He's been working out in Philadelphia and could have to return to Toronto and quarantine for two weeks -- without a guarantee that Canadian regulations would let him use the team's facility during that period of time. Conditioning gains he had made could be dulled -- just as Lowry and others are looking to accelerate preparation."

It's also unclear whether all 30 teams will be included in a restart or if the league will go straight to a playoff format. Wojnarowski noted that some championship contenders are concerned they would be waiting around in bubble sites if the league decided to do a play-in tournament.

He added:

"Teams are pressing the league for the timeline, but they're still resisting an official release of it. Among concerns: The uneven process of bringing back players overseas into North America, and some GMs describing voluntary workout environments that are losing momentum and interest among players."

The NBA suspended play in mid-March after Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert tested positive for COVID-19.