If plans don’t change and the NBA does reboot the season on July 31, things are going to be very different for players. One of the biggest changes for the players is that they will have to stay and various hotels at Walt Disney World and stay in a “bubble.” Not only that, but the NBA will also be putting a “violation hotline” in place so that players can anonymously report on other players who aren’t following the rules, according to Shams Charania and Sam Amick of The Athletic:
If anyone on the campus sees rules being broken and worries that the actions of one individual might bring harm on the rest of them, the NBA will have an anonymous hotline available for reporting purposes. Teams “are required to report immediately to the league office any information regarding any potential or actual violation,” and “all campus participants are strongly encouraged to report any potential or actual violation.”
His teammate Jared Dudley also gave his thoughts on the news.
There aren’t many people who would like to be considered a snitch but that doesn’t mean players won’t call out other players who aren’t following the rules.
What Happens to Player Who Gets Caught?
If a player does get caught, he’s not going to get off easy. Per Charania and Amick, the memo outlines what happens to players who get caught violating the rules:
Failure or refusal to comply with the Protocols may subject a player to disciplinary action by the NBA or his team (but not both for the same act or conduct, pursuant to Article VI, Section 10 of the Collective Bargaining Agreement), which may include a warning, fine, suspension, and/or removal from the campus. Repeat offenders may be subject to enhanced discipline.
Player challenges to any disciplinary action shall be made through the Grievance Arbitration process of the CBA.
If an outbreak of COVID-19 were to happen among players, that would catastrophic for so many reasons. The NBA needs its players to be smart and stay safe.
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What Happens if a Player Tests Positive for COVID-19?
The biggest worry about the NBA returning is what exactly to do if a player tests positive for COVID-19. Amick and Charania gave some insight:
If a player of prominence gets sick and is forced to bow out of the playoffs, then the league could face the very kind of public relations disaster that has made this sort of risky endeavor dicey from the start. According to the memo, a player who tests positive will be hospitalized if needed and otherwise be placed in immediate isolation in “Isolation Housing,” i.e. a house, hotel or other facility that is different from individual’s previous location.
From there, the player will undergo PCR retesting to confirm the positive result (there are expected to be occasional false positive results). A second positive result will be considered a confirmed positive and the player will remain in isolation while beginning the process for monitoring, management and resolution.
If a superstar player for a team gets sick, that’s going to change the entire dynamic of the playoffs. While there’s a lot of risk involved, the players will have to know what they’re signing up for and be smart about what they do off the court.