The NBA Deputy Commissioner, Mark Tatum, reaffirmed this Wednesday the conviction that the entity has in the security that offers the players the « bubble » of Orlando against COVID-19 when from Thursday the regular season resumes.
07/30/2020 at 01:39
After reiterating that the safety of the players was the most important thing, Tatum expressed his satisfaction for all the work that had been done so far in order to see the first objective of restarting the 2019-20 regular season fulfilled, and that it can also be done successfully.
His confidence, according to Tatum, lay in the objective facts of having carried out up to 350 tests on the players They are in the « bubble » playing the preseason and none had tested positive for COVID-19.
« According to the results, our protocols are working », Tatum expressed in a conference call. « We are pleased that we have had zero positive COVID-19 cases during that time. »
However, Tatum said they were first and foremost realistic and he assumed that the road had only just begun; so the challenges you have to face would be great and difficult.
« We are aware that we have a long way to go. People on campus are aware of abiding by the rules to keep everyone safe and healthy. Without their collaboration nothing could be possibleTatum recalled.
After the regular season was suspended on March 11, the first league that did it within professional sport in the United States, after the positive of the French center Rudy gobert, from the Utah Jazz, in Oklahoma City, The NBA began working with safety experts to plan the next steps.
In that sense, Tatum noted that they had developed an extensive list of protocols to keep healthy and to all those confined in the bubble and that its assembly has cost the NBA more than 150 million dollars.
« Safety was always our first priority »Tatum stressed that he did not want to talk about the economic aspect that the establishment of the « campus » has meant to the league, as the NBA officially calls the bubble that it has set up at the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando.
This Thursday everything returns
Starting this Thursday, 22 teams, with 89 international players from 34 nations, will resume the matches, 88 in the regular season, eight for each team, which will be played without fans and who will decide the qualification for the playoffs.
Then the playoffs will follow and it is expected that the Finals and define the new NBA champion 2019-2020, to whom Tatum said that all the recognition should be given because he will have deserved it, apart from the slowdown caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
« Whoever wins the championship will have had to overcome so much adversity to reach that goal who will then feel the satisfaction of having achieved it, « said Tatum.
« We have hope and optimism that if everyone complies with the protocols we can crown a champion at the end of the season « Tatum limited himself to saying, in addition to reiterating that the NBA has plans depending on multiple situations if there is a possible outbreak.
Recognize the effort
Tatum praised the « sacrifice » made by the players and reiterated that family members can enter after the first round of the playoffs, since there are only eight teams left.
The NBA vice commissioner acknowledged that creating medical protocols was the most difficult part they had to face when they started working on developing and assembling the bubble.
« We weren’t going to move forward if we couldn’t think of a plan where we would feel very comfortable keeping everyone safe. We are doing something here that we have never done before and that few people have tried, « he added.
Regarding the controversial issue of claims by the players – who have even decided to get down on their knees during the intonation of the national anthem, violating an internal NBA rule – on racism, social injustice and police brutality, TAtum limited himself to saying that « we will deal with that situation. »
By Rúben Mantilla