The NBA Board of Governors announced today that the 2019-2020 NBA season will resume at Walt Disney World’s ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in July. The season was suspended on March 11 after Utah Jazz Center Rudy Gobert had tested positive for COVID-19. Gobert had come down with an illness prior to the game between the Jazz and the Oklahoma City Thunder in Oklahoma City.
Gobert did not go to the arena, but was taken to the hospital where he tested positive. The game, and season, were ultimately suspended for a minimum of thirty days. The following day, Gobert’s teammate Donovan Mitchell also tested positive for the virus.
The season will resume with a 22-team format that was voted 29-1. The Portland Trail Blazers voted against the proposal. The National Basketball Players Association had been working closely with league officials on the plan, and the NBPA’S team played representatives have a conference call set for Friday to approve the proposal.
Life will be a bit different for everyone involved. While players and coaches will be allowed to golf or eat at outdoor restaurants, they will also need to maintain social distancing.
When training and the season resume, the NBA is planning to have uniform daily testing for COVID-19. If a player tests positive for the virus, the league’s intent would be to remove that player from the team to quarantine and treat individually. Other team members will also continue to be tested as they play.
Cast Members at the Disney resort will also have to maintain similar protocols. No staff will be allowed into players’ rooms, and hallways will be carefully managed to avoid crowding.