The NBA will begin to allow guests into the bubble between the first and second rounds of the restart playoffs. Per a league memo, “players’ families and longtime close personal friends” are eligible as guests in Orlando. The Los Angeles Lakers are expecting to have an extended stay at Disney World and Kyle Kuzma can’t wait to have some people — other than his teammates — to share it with.
“I can’t wait. I can’t wait,” Kuzma told reporters on Wednesday following practice. “Obviously, this is a great experience, they’ve done an unbelievable job of really supervising and managing just how the bubble works, the ins and outs. At the same time, we’re all human and we all have our families and loved ones that we want to see and be around. So it’s good to have.”
Kyle Kuzma Says Having Guests Will Relieve ‘Tension’
Teams have been in the bubble just over a month, so it’s not crazy to think some players might be getting sick of each other, which Lakers head coach Frank Vogel addressed.
“I have that concern that it could flare up. We have had a tight-knit group, but any group of people who spend too much time together, there’s a risk of that,” Vogel said of possible off-court issues. “But we have a great sprit in this group. It hasn’t been a problem yet, and I don’t anticipate it being a problem, but it is something I thought about.”
Kuzma agreed with his head coach and thinks having loved ones inside the bubble is a key going forward to make it work.
“I think that is a piece of making bubbles work for now and in the future, having a way for us to see our families and stuff,” Kuzma said. “That’s not the toughest thing. Obviously, having our families around will relieve a lot of tension we have around here—not to say we have tension, just as a league-wide stance. I think it will be great for us.”
An expected guest of Kuzma will be his girlfriend, model Winnie Harlow, who has discovered her purple and gold pride as of late.
NBA Officials Have Said Bubble Could Happen Next Season
Things have gone very well in the bubble so far, with zero positive tests. 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 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.”
Introducing guests will be a whole different story, but the NBA provided some of the guidelines it has in place.
- Quarantine for seven days prior to traveling to the bubble
- Must submit a clearance form signed by a physician that says they have no risk factors associated with COVID-19, and haven’t had any symptoms of the virus or associated/cared for anyone with the virus
- Must undergo COVID-19 testing upon arriving at Disney World followed by a mandatory seven-day quarantine in temporary housing on the campus
- Once cleared from quarantine, they must undergo regular coronavirus testing, daily temperature checks, wear a face mask at all times and social distance from everyone else on the campus aside from the player that they are the guest of