BOSTON (CBS) — Some players may be hesitant to head to Orlando for several months, but it’s quite clear that the NBA is doing everything that’s possible to make the trip worthwhile.

A slew of details leaked out on Tuesday night, with Shams Charania and Keith Smith reporting on what the NBA will look like when it resumes in Disney World this summer.

Charania reported that players will get the VIP treatment in their Disney hotels, which will have players-only lounges, as well as games, movie screenings and live DJ sets.

Charania added that there will be team excursions: “restaurants, boating, bowling, fishing, golfing, access to NBA Experience, Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Disney’s Wild Africa Trek.”

Smith also reported that the NBA will try to get teams to play mostly at their normal game times, meaning West Coast teams will be tipping off very late in Florida.

Then, of course, there is the health and safety aspect of the entire event, which requires significant planning and safeguards in order for the games to be played in the middle of a pandemic.

Keeping the basketballs themselves disinfected will be a task:

Players will also have the option to wear a device on their finger that tracks body temperature and heart rate. Players will also wear MagicBands, which are typically used at Disney resorts as room keys and for amusement park access. For players, the MagicBand will additionally serve as their check-in for COVID-19 testing.

“The NBA is working to utilize an access control software that would allow people to scan their MagicBand at a checkpoint, and allow the person to proceed if the MagicBand shows green color. However, if the band displays a different color, additional medical attention will be required,” Charania and Sam Amick reported on The Athletic.

Perhaps most interesting of all, the NBA will establish an anonymous hotline, which will allow players to report if and when anyone else violates the protocols established by the league.

“If anyone on the campus sees rules being broken and worries that the actions of one individual might bring harm on the rest of them, the NBA will have an anonymous hotline available for reporting purposes,” Charania and Amick reported.

Masks will also be seen in the arenas during games, but not on the active players and not in the front row of the bench.

If a player does test positive, that player will obviously be out of action for a stretch.

“If a player of prominence gets sick and is forced to bow out of the playoffs, then the league could face the very kind of public relations disaster that has made this sort of risky endeavor dicey from the start,” Charania and Amick reported. “A player who tests positive will be hospitalized if needed and otherwise be placed in immediate isolation in ‘Isolation Housing,’ i.e. a house, hotel or other facility that is different from individual’s previous location. From there, the player will undergo PCR retesting to confirm the positive result (there are expected to be occasional false positive results). A second positive result will be considered a confirmed positive and the player will remain in isolation while beginning the process for monitoring, management and resolution.”

The player can’t return to action until he’s asymptomatic, he returns two negative tests, and he is cleared by an infectious disease physician.

There’s clearly a lot of moving parts, and pulling it all off without a single hiccup will be difficult. But the NBA at least has a comprehensive plan and appears ready to move forward.


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