There was plenty of skepticism surrounding the NBA’s decision to finish out its season within the confines of the bubble it constructed at Walt Disney World Resorts and things got off to a bit of a rocky start last month when players began to arrive only to be greeted by meals that gave off Fyre Festival vibes and hotel rooms that were compared to a Motel 6 by someone who is obviously unfamiliar with what you typically get when you spend less than $100 to stay somewhere for the night.
Most players eventually realized they could use the millions of dollars at their disposal to address most of the minor inconveniences they may encounter during their stay, and while some guys may have had a harder time adjusting than others, it didn’t take long for most of them to settle in and take advantage of the many options the league provided them with to make an objectively cushy situation even more bearable.
Of course, all of those other issues were incredibly trivial compared to the one that necessitated the use of a bubble environment in the first place but the NBA managed to do what Major League Baseball refused to by going to great lengths to protect the health of its players and hasn’t reported a single positive test since the 22 teams that were invited to Florida to firm up the playoff picture converged there last month.
The irregular end to this year’s regular season is slated to wrap up on Friday, and while we still don’t know what the postseason will look like, we do know it won’t include the Pelicans or the Kings, who were both mathematically eliminated from contention over the weekend.
Both of those teams are scheduled to play their final game on Thursday, and according to a report from Chris Haynes, they’re going to want to take advantage of as much of what the bubble has to offer as they can prior to that point. On Monday, the reporter shed some light on what will happen to squads after their season officially comes to an end and it appears the league has opted to go with a “kick their ass to the curb and hope the door doesn’t hit them on the way out” approach in regard to its exit protocol.
Yahoo Sources: NBA teams that have been mathematically eliminated on or before Aug. 12 will depart campus immediately after their final game has ended. Following game, teams will shower in designated rooms at the Coronado Springs Resort, receive meal and take team bus to airport.
— Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) August 10, 2020
Allowing people who no longer have any business being in the bubble to remain inside it for a second longer than necessary obviously undermines the entire strategy, so while I understand the rationale behind the decision, I can’t help but laugh at the optics of the league basically saying, “Thanks for playing, we hope you enjoyed your all-expenses-paid stay at Disney World but the time has come for you to immediately vacate this secure environment that just so happens to be located in the middle of one of the hotspots of the pandemic.”
I can’t help but draw a comparison between this and someone in a zombie movie getting kicked out of a fortified compound and forced to fend for themselves after they’re caught stealing supplies. Sure, those people don’t have the luxury of getting on a bus and being driven to the airport to hop on a private plane that’ll ferry them to safety but it’s still pretty damn amusing.