Australian NBA star Joe Ingles has revealed the NBA has discussed scenarios for the 2020-21 season to be played in a bubble.
Twenty-two of the NBA’s 30 teams are currently housed within a quarantine bubble inside Orlando’s Walt Disney World location with the league to finish off the remaining 2019-20 season at the famed theme park and resort facility.
Ingles, 32, will be a big part of this week’s season relaunch when his Utah Jazz clash with the New Orleans Pelicans as NBA action resumes on Friday.
On Wednesday NBA Players Association (NBPA) executive director Michele Roberts revealed the COVID-19 pandemic has crippled the USA so much that the NBA may also be forced to play the following season in a bubble.
And it might just be the most appropriate solution after 18 players of the Miami Marlins tested positive for the COVID-19 after Major League Baseball kicked off its season last week without the use of a bubble.
When asked by Wide World of Sports whether teams and players could handle an entire season inside a bubble, Ingles said the news was “horribly miserable” and that the only way it could work is if the NBA accommodated the families from every club.
“When I first saw that today it was horribly miserable to hear,” Ingles said.
“The NBA is one of the best businesses in the world and if anyone was going to pull it off, I feel like they could. But if you’re talking about a whole season, you’re talking about a minimum six or seven months. Guys aren’t going without their families.
“We were talking about this the other night, my significant others would be my family.
“But for one of my teammates it might be his brother or his mum, so finding the balance of how many people and where you do that to have enough accommodation for 30 teams, including 40 staff and players in our group and that was a really small number that the NBA were trying to keep tight so we weren’t having too many people here.
“If you’re there all year you’ve got to bring extra people, there are families and friends. My kids go to school am I just going to pull them out of school for eight months?”
Ingles revealed that the NBA has been privately discussing future scenarios on how the bubble could work if it was forced to remain that way.
The Utah Jazz small forward said the NBA had been looking into ways they could tutor the children of players’ families inside the bubble if NBA stars were unable to go back home for an extended period of time.
“There is a lot that would have to happen, but there have been discussions of bringing in tutors and a little classroom school,” he said.
“That is the level that it would have to be at, but the NBA is one of the best businesses in the world, and if anyone was going to pull it off, the NBA could.
“I guess if it is the only option and that is what we have to do, then that is what guys are going to do.
“Obviously, we’d love to play but I think the business and money side of it is a big part of it.
Joe Ingles does it himself and scores
“Teams are losing money; players don’t want to lose their money. There might be a guy in the last year of his career that might really need X amount of dollars that he has made.
“So many people are in different situations, but we’ll see. I hope things go back to normal and I can go and live in my house in Utah and drive to practice, but we will see what happens.”
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