LAKE BUENA VISTA, Florida. – As NBA teams prepare to move to Orlando, Florida, the coming days have received directives on the process of transporting players who cannot travel on the team charts, according to a league memo acquired by ESPN.
If a player misses a scheduled coronavirus test two days before the team’s departure date – or has “mitigating circumstances” revealed to the league – he must arrange his own trip to join his team as the league restarts its season. The player has the opportunity to fly on a charter flight at the player’s expense, travel by car or fly advertising, memo says. If a player flies in private or runs, he must have two negative test results before resuming basketball activities. If he flies commercially, the player must have three consecutive negative test results, according to the memo.
With the first teams scheduled to arrive in Orlando on Tuesday, it is unlikely that players who have tested positive during the past week will be able to fly with their teams. According to the league̵
The Miami Heat and Denver Nuggets are among the teams that have seen several people in their traveling party test favorably in recent days.
The training camps at Walt Disney World Resort will be the first time most players play sanctioned 5-on-5 basketball with their teammates since the league closed on March 11 in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic. Players who have to hold back in their home markets to recover from COVID-19 may miss some of their team’s planned training camp and the important preparation time. Having less time to prepare can make players more susceptible to injury.
The 22 teams participating in the restart are scheduled to arrive in Orlando in delayed phases. The first group of teams is scheduled to participate in the “bubble” on Tuesday, the second on Wednesday and the third on Thursday. After completing a two-day quarantine, the first group is expected to start training camp on Thursday.
Ahead of the regular season games scheduled for July 30, each team also plays three examinations against teams from the second conference or one that is in the same conference and an unlikely opponent in the first round.
If a player has not been tested regularly in recent weeks and meets the NBA’s requirements, he must have six consecutive negative test results upon arrival before participating.