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Bubble Men: Why the NBA’s Plan is Still the Best Option

The NBA’s plan to bring back the NBA in a “bubble” as Disney is flawed.

We can all agree, there are any number of ways to poke holes in the plan.

But before we burst the bubble completely, realize that this is the best option to get sports back and keep people safe.

This includes conventional wisdom about sports such as baseball.

Here’s 4 reasons why.

1. Roster and Personnel Size

The roster of a NBA is much smaller than other American sports like football and baseball.

Even with the new rules allowing teams to bring in players as needed, the rosters and coaching staffs are still significantly smaller than other sports.

That, in turn, means there is much less support staff needed for the players as well.

This smaller population vs other sports limits the ability for the COVID contagion to spread.

2. Basketball Athletes

NBA level athletes are obviously among the best in the world.

Frankly, in any professional sport the athletes are tremendous. Try doing a shift in a NHL game and see the incredible strength, balance, stamina and speed of those players on a small metal blade on ice. All these professionals are insane.

That being said, the type of athlete NBA players happen to be is the perfect counter for a virus such as this.

I’m not a doctor or epidemiologist, but the virus attacks lungs and hearts of those who it infects.

Preexisting conditions notwithstanding, these are organs that NBA players have some of the highest functioning in the world. The cardio needed to run up and down the court is insane. The bodies are tracked and monitored constantly, and the age group is among those that are the least susceptible.

This says nothing for any family of players, but the players themselves, based on the data from the CDC and WHO, would be almost unilaterally fine.

3. The Bubble is Bad – but Could be Worse

As more and more states open, and we see even other countries back to normal (and having sports without crowds!), the COVID menace sits waiting to pounce on large crowds.

While the amount of Disney personnel needed to run this is a massive amount (imagine the undertaking on the below courts being built along), this is still no more than it would take to have different arenas around the country open and running.

This limits travel and spread of the disease even more outside of this contained area.

There will continue to be positive tests, that is a given. However, if Disney and the NBA respond swiftly and with appropriate action, spread can be contained.

4. Basketball Structure

Basketball is structured in a way that it would be easy enough to squish games in and play a quick tournament.

Some sports, like baseball, are just a longer process.

If things continue to take a turn for the worse in Florida, and the NBA wants to speed it up, a 1 and done or best of 3 tournament could be really fascinating and cool.

Basketball can just flip a switch easily and do that and still get good content and a pseudo season in.

Are We Sure About This?

For the record, I’m actually against sports returning at all right now, even as a big sports fan.

I think the risks outweigh the rewards. Regardless of blame, the virus is not getting better. We won’t be getting a second wave, it seems, but a continuation of the first.

Cases are up, not down, and especially in the areas some of these sports want to play.

Not a good sign.

However, if we were to see sports this year (those billionaires need their money!), then the NBA bubble, as flawed as it is, really is the best option.

Stay safe, stay healthy, and wear a mask.

-Brent Buckley (@bigbucksbuckley on twitter)

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