The Pandemic NBA Regular Season Starts

Let the games begin.  

There is a new television show premiering on ESPN called the National Basketball Association’s game of the moment. The NBA is back because the Disney-owned ESPN, the AT &T-owned Turner Sports and global TV networks and media platforms are paying hundreds of millions of dollars, euros, and other currency for content. There is a COVID-19 risk for the players and staffers who are taking part in the television production but make no mistake, the only reason the NBA and other sports are producing product during a gripping pandemic is television money. There will be no customers in the stands during the Disney World-Orlando, Florida area bubble games but fans can still put money into the coffers by buying NBA merchandise.  The owners are losing revenue from having no customers filling seats and no customers buying food or parking their cars. But the TV money justifies taking the health risk.

So far, it appears the bubble concept has worked somewhat. Some teams don’t have full rosters because of players not wanting to be in the bubble or going through an isolation protocol. But the games must go on.  NBA Commissioner Adam Silver has acknowledged there is a health risk for players, coaches and other NBA personnel. The NBA has had players with COVID-19. There will be constant COVID-19 testing, and if a test comes back positive, isolation and contact tracing are part of the protocol. The Orlando and Orange County, Florida areas are two of America’s leading COVID-19 hot spots. The Disney staff attending to NBA personnel are not staying in the bubble and will go home daily. The staff has rules to follow. Silver had said that science and data would dictate the path back to playing after the league stopped playing in March when two members of the Utah Jazz were diagnosed with COVID-19. But money talks.