All the while, Commissioner Adam Silver maintained his faith in the league plan and made it clear that he was moving forward, despite a number of positive tests in recent weeks. However, like many others, he seems increasingly concerned about the state of the pandemic. In late June he said his “level of concern has increased”, and now he has made new comments recognizing the possibility that spreading the virus inside the bubble will force the league to close. Via ESPN:
“I think we have the ability to trace, of course, to try to understand where this positive case came from,” said Silver of any positive case on the Walt Disney World campus. “We can actually analyze the virus itself and try to find out if there is more than one case, if it is essentially the same virus and the same genetic variation in the virus transmitted from player to player other or two people have detected it. The campus independently. So these are all things that we are looking at. ”
“Certainly, if we had some sort of major spread on our campus, we would be closed again. “
At this point, it is still unclear how many cases would constitute a “significant gap,” forcing the league to close things down. In June Silver told reporters that the line “had not been set” and that we could never get a final number from the league, as they will likely try to play things by ear in Orlando.
For now, Silver and the league are trying to keep a brave face, but the players have been keener on some of their problems with the whole operation. A number of players, including Victor Oladipo, Bradley Beal, Spencer Dinwiddie and Avery Bradley, are all seated, while other players who surrender have noted their hesitation.
Portland Trail Blazers star Damian Lillard said last week that he had little faith that players would follow all the rules of the bubble, and on Tuesday, the great man of the Philadelphia 76ers, Joel Embiid, told reporters: “I don’t think it’s going to be safe enough. ”
Elsewhere in the sports world, MLS faces a number of virus-related issues. FC Dallas were forced to withdraw completely from the return league after a number of positive tests, and a match between Nashville and Chicago was postponed for the same reason.
Although it is a completely different sport and league, the situation in MLS shows why Silver and others have a growing concern that the NBA may withdraw this plan and end the season.