NBPA executive director Michele Roberts told Tim Bontemps of ESPN in a recent interview that there is a chance that players could return to a bubble-like environment next season, depending on coronavirus pandemic developments.
“If tomorrow looks like today, I don’t know how we say we can do it differently,” Roberts told ESPN. “If tomorrow looks like today, and today we all acknowledge — and this is not Michele talking, this is the league, together with the PA and our respective experts saying, ‘This is the way to do it’ — then that’s going to have to be the way to do it.”
That got Kuzma thinking — the Disney World bubble is great, but what about the Aloha State?
“Nba has done amazing job with safety & protocols. Make the bubble Hawaii. Simple,” Kuzma wrote on Twitter.
Nba has done amazing job with safety & protocols. Make the bubble Hawaii. Simple🤷🏽♂️ https://t.co/7ldQH5PJu6
— kuz (@kylekuzma) July 28, 2020
Kuzma could have a point. The island state has been one of the best in terms of keeping COVID-19 in check, thanks mostly to restrictions to mainland travelers. As of Tuesday, there had only been 1,734 cases in Hawaii and 25 deaths.
When it comes to finding a home, one of the state’s many resorts would likely jump at the opportunity to host the NBA with tourism at a near stand-still amid the pandemic.
Bubble Isn’t Perfect, But Players Have Adapted
The bubble isn’t perfect, especially for players who make millions of dollars per year and are used to a life a bit more luxurious than the average Joe. However, the NBAers have been able to find a bright side to the bubble, whether that be fishing, gaming, or simply focusing on basketball without distractions.
But most importantly, the latest set of test results from the campus came back with zero positive cases, a big win for the league that gives hopes that the season can finish as planned.
“Nothing is perfect, and knock on wood every day and cross my fingers every day that no one has gotten infected since we’ve been here,” Roberts told ESPN. “But this is clearly, we’ve happened upon the way to play. And the players are largely cool with it.”
Kyle Kuzma Primed for Breakout Stretch in Bubble
Kuzma has drawn some major praise from his teammates and coaches in the bubble, showing that he was putting in work while the league was on a more than four month hiatus. His breakout performance came in the Lakers second scrimmage, when he totaled 25 points on 10-13 shooting.
“He’s had a couple of stretches where he’s dominated the floor and it’s been really encouraging to see,” Vogel told reporters before the scrimmages started. “He had some inconsistency with the beginning of our season because he dealt with three different injuries that really prohibited him from getting his legs under him.
“The shot-making wasn’t always there, but it’s been there at a very high level during this restart, and we’re very encouraged and excited about what having a real training camp, or a healthy training camp could mean for him. Hopefully that leads to an increased role and gives us that boost that we’re looking for.”
The Lakers are installed as the title favorite in Orlando, coming in at +200 per Odds Shark. The Bucks are close behind at +280, followed by the Clippers at +300.