As the NBA continues to explore options for the season’s return, including playing the rest of the season in a closed environment, news reports say family members may be allowed in.
The league and the National Basketball Players Association are making progress on a plan that would allow players’ family members to stay within the so-callled “bubble.” The bubble is the proposed enclosed environment in which the participants live, practice and play all games.
The report comes days after it was confirmed that the players association and the league were in talks with Disney to hold the rest of the season at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex near Orlando, Florida, as a single campus for all activities.
The discussions are mainly happening among teams that are expecting to go deep into the playoffs, meaning that they would have a longer stay on the campus, ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne and Adrian Wojnarowski reported, citing unnamed sources.
Like the players, family members would be subjected to certain coronavirus testing protocols.
When asked about the report, the NBA did not comment.
The league is scheduled to hold separate teleconferences with team general managers and the Board of Governors.
Where the NBA stands
The talks between the NBA and Disney first came to light last week. If successful, the NBA could start again in July.
The NBA should be in the playoffs now, with the season scheduled to conclude in June. But the coronavirus pandemic forced the league to suspend the season in mid-March.
The news of a possible return of pro basketball comes as other leagues consider possible returns in June and July. The PGA Tour is scheduled to resume on June 8, and baseball fans could see Major League Baseball come back in July.
Meanwhile, there has been no word on the potential return of the WNBA, which was scheduled to begin on May 15.
Internationally, some leagues have already returned. Germany’s top-flight soccer league, the Bundesliga, restarted its season earlier this month.
It may not be soccer as we typically know it: There are no fans in attendance, teams spend a week in quarantine before games, and players are regularly tested and travel via multiple buses rather than one. But it could represent a model for the return of live sports in the United States