Bucks & NBA Struggle Through First Step Back to Basketball
Milwaukee Bucks will not be having any more practices at their facility. A positive test sprung up in a round of testing this weekend. Someone on the team or the coaching staff has COVID. This is a theme across the NBA. 7 of the 22 teams playing in the bubble had a positive test. That is 32% (Rounding) of the teams in the bubble. Almost a third. Trust me when I say many will make this out to be a big deal, but in reality, it is not. Rather, the NBA and the bubble teams struggled with the first step. This is not to think that the problems will exist inside the bubble.
Why did the first step fail? There could be a lot of reasons for that answer. Some cities are more exposed to COVID right now than others. Players played in non-league sanctioned pick-up games where the spread of COVID-19 could have easily been there. It is unlikely any of the players took temperatures, talked about their symptoms, or identified if they were with anyone in the last 14 days that had COVID-19. The teams and league could have done a better job of making sure there was a grace period of 14 days of somewhat local isolation before beginning phase one. That’s a lot to ask for, but it could have made things better.
This does not correlate to Orlando bubble though. For the longest time, I failed to understand why teams were going down early with COVID rates skyrocketing in Florida (Numbers are starting to level a bit). Now I do. They get to isolate and be with their team versus out in the wild. No worries about a guy like Tyler Herro hanging with an IG model or any athlete going around town. This is the easiest way to keep everyone in the same area. We’ll see if numbers continue this way in Orlando, but I don’t see it. Could the bubble get affected? Yes, but do I think there will be a rash of positive tests? No, I do not.
Some might point out the TBT as an example of concern which is pure bullshit. The TBT is a fun, summer entertainment. It is not an actual league. Most of the players play overseas or have other jobs. There is no point in making teams play on with possible exposure for something that doesn’t mean too much. There are some sponsors and programming for ESPN yet it’s not a huge dent to either of them. If people are using the TBT as an example for the NBA, ask them if they would like their head removed from the floor.
Lastly, let’s remember these guys are getting tested constantly which means asymptomatic cases are going to pop up more frequently early on. That’s just natural. More tests equal more positive COVID cases. This is not that hard to figure out yet some need to be told over and over. It is not worth an overreaction thinkpiece about how the NBA should stop their season.
NBA and the Bucks are learning like all of us. There was a small chance they would get it right the first time. They failed for the most part. Let’s hope the next version is better.