LA Clippers: The NBA’s Orlando bubble seems to be working

The LA Clippers and the NBA move forward after another week with zero positive tests.

The NBA and NBPA recently announced the results of another round of daily testing for COVID-19 and for the second straight week zero players have tested positive for the virus. With the LA Clippers set to take on the Lakers in their first official game since March, things seem to be going according to plan for the NBA.

The return of professional sports in the midst of a pandemic has been the cause of much discussion and debate. While sports provide people with entertainment, a sense of normalcy, and a distraction from some of the more serious events in the world, many are asking if the benefits are worth the risk.

Major League Baseball suffers a setback.

Major League Baseball suffered a major setback this week when multiple members of the Miami Marlins organization tested positive for COVID-19 after their opening series against the Philadelphia Phillies. The Marlins have placed their season on hold, while the Phillies’ next series against the New York Yankees was suspended to protect the players and personnel who were in close proximity with those that tested positive.

The outbreak within the Marlins’ organization brings up major questions about baseball’s plan to continue in the manner that they have. Players and personnel are traveling from city to city and are not as closely monitored as the players on the NBA campus. It has been reported by Bob Nightengale of USA Today that the Marlins outbreak may have been the result of a night out in Atlanta prior to opening day.

The NBA’s more strict approach seems to be working.

As LA Clippers fans know, the NBA keeping a close eye on any moves players make in and outside the bubble. Lou Williams was recently told he will have to quarantine for ten days after violating protocol on an excused absence from the campus.

Ivaca Zubac recently revealed his absence from the bubble was due to a positive test for COVID-19 in early July. He was forced to stay at home away from the team in Orlando until he received a negative test. He was recently able to join the team and played in their final scrimmage against the Sacramento Kings on Monday.

While Zubac, Landry Shamet, and Patrick Beverley have joined the Clippers in Orlando, the team still awaits the return of center Montrezl Harrell after taking an approved leave to attend to family matters.

The NBA’s strict approach of using a single location, limited access, daily testing, and rigorous standards for where players can travel limits some of the freedom of the players and personnel but seems to be working to keep the coronavirus out of the league.

Professional sports may look drastically different than we’re used to for the near future. The NBA is setting a standard that other leagues may want to follow if they want to continue to operate in a safe and secure environment for their players, coaches, staff, personnel, and eventually fans.