22 of the 30 teams playing for the National Basketball Association (NBA), were selected to participate in eight regular season games that are set to begin on July 31st. After those conclude, the playoff tournament will go underway on August 17th. The matchups will be taking place in arenas located in Orlando at ESPN's Wide World of Sports Complex.
Players have been staying in Disney's hotels, isolated from friends and family, since July 7th. They are not allowed to leave, and must participate in mini-training camps, daily COVID testing, and other strict health/safety protocols. Visitors also aren't even allowed to come until the first round of the playoffs.
In addition to these rules:
Various activities will be made available to players during their stayTwitter
DJ parties, card games, video games, table tennis, beach volleyball, swimming pools, golf, corn hole, and fishing, to name a few!
No fans will be present in the stands
An announcement was made by NBA Commissioner, Adam Silver, that the games will be broadcasted in a unique fashion. No fans will be in attendance, but new camera angles and enhanced player/coach audio will be introduced. Halftime shows and concerts will also be held. While these changes are necessary, they will certainly have a significant impact on the players, as well as the viewers.
Rings that detect coronavirus will be offered to athletes
Each athlete has been given the option to wear a high-tech ring, developed by Oura, that assists in early coronavirus detection, temperature tracking, and respiratory and heart rate monitoring. Despite the potential of said device, players are questioning why they should be worn. For example, Kyle Kuzma, Small Forward for the Los Angeles Lakers, posted several tweets joking about how the ring appeared to look like a "tracking device."
Players who test positive are required to self-isolate from their teamTwitter
If a player tests positive for coronavirus, then they are required to self-isolate away from the rest of the team until given asymptomatic clearance.
Jerseys with social justice messages are allowed
Adam Silver has provided players with an option to wear jerseys that contain messages promoting social justice and raising awareness. About a month ago, there was much controversy surrounding the idea of a season restart amidst the social injustice that our country is currently facing. This action is not only beneficial in terms of audience and image but also to give athletes a platform and voice to stand up for what they believe in.