Laying down as many specific rules as possible a key to NBA Bubble Life

Laying down as many specific rules as possible a key to NBA Bubble Life

Two leagues, two things and welcome back, Premier League, and pardon My Young(ish) Friend’s enthusiasm for Arsenal, hopefully it’s just a phase she’s going through.

Well, that’s a pretty exhaustive couple of documents floating around the basketball world since last evening when NBA players and teams got some marching orders, or suggestions, or rules of engagement from the league about All Things Bubble.

I don’t have the actual documents in hand – if someone wants to e-mail them that’d be nice – but I have talked to some people and read some others to have a pretty solid idea of how complete the process is.

And it’s complete.

The rules and checklists and options are incredibly extensive.

The “what to bring to camp” packing list includes everything from slippers to bathing suits to phone chargers and enough clothes. In some ways it’s hilarious, like grown men and their families and friends and agents won’t remember to pack them up well.

But that’s the point of the whole endeavour has to be planned to a ‘T’ with nothing left to chance.

Every imaginable contingency has to be covered, every hiccup anticipated because once you’re in, you’re in and the most problems that can be anticipated before the better.

As Nick Nurse told us when we talked to him a week or so ago, taking every preventative measure possible to lessen the inevitable wining that’s going to come from up to three months in virtual lockdown is going to be a huge task and a vital one for whichever teams advance the furthest in what could be a three-month tournament in one location.

Keeping guys calm is paramount and make sure everyone knows precisely what to expect is a giant step. Things are sure to come up once the teams are settled that need addressing immediately but the more plans are laid out in advance – right down to times of daily meals – the fewer problems that are likely to present themselves.

The other “news” that we’ve basically been expecting for weeks and what makes the most sense is that the Raptors will head somewhere else for the first phase of training camp rather than bring everyone back to Canada before heading to Disney.

It’s not optimal – setting things up well at OVO would be far easier than doing it somewhere else – but all things considered, it does make the most sense.

I don’t think Florida is the greatest idea given the wave of the coronavirus sweeping that state in the last 10 days or so. I’m sure the Raptors would have considered some other location for what is their own training camp where they could basically sequester themselves with all the amenities they need and we’ll be sure to ask Bobby Webster the first chance we get.

But, when you think of it, it’s not like they’re going to allow or encourage anyone in the entourage to run free among The People wherever they are and if they can get assurances on testing and relative isolation and health safety above all others, I guess it doesn’t matter where they go.

The optics sure don’t make it look so great – Florida’s in the throes of a pandemic wave these days – but it’s folly to think management didn’t give every consideration to some other location.

Hey, dump some stuff into the weekend mailbag, will you?

It’s going to be nice out for the next few days and since there’s really nowhere to go, sitting around the Casa Doug Deck getting a jump on Sunday might be a good way to stay engaged each evening.

All you’ve got to do is click on askdoug@thestar.ca and type away.

I’m not sure I get all this foofaraw about where the NHL sets its “hub” cities if and when it actually gets back to playing games.

I suppose the only benefit would be the corporations that own hotels and restaurants and arenas and there’d likely be a trickle down to staffing levels as those places and that’s certainly welcome.

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How great that trickle down effect would be remains to be seen, of course. If the establishments were absolutely shuttered and hundreds got their jobs back that would be great; no one I’ve read or heard has put any real numbers to that. I would suspect the hotels have been open and the catering companies have been working but there’s something to be said for any increased employment in these odd times.

But past that?

As the lady once said, ‘where’s the beef?’

It’s not like arena staff – the ticket takers or ushers or concession workers – are going to benefit because it’s inconceivable to think there will be fans in the stands.

So that’s out.

It’s not like fans are going to pack the bars and restaurants more to watch games from their own city than they would if their team was playing some other ‘hub.’

So that’s out, too.

And it’s not like there’s no risk at all to anyone in any of the cities.

While I don’t have a huge problem with the federal government easing its border quarantine rules per se, it does send a rather interesting signal to the rest of the world. I get that there might be a way to alter the quarantine rules to add arenas and buses and common areas and dining rooms and meeting rooms and hallways and whatever but if you don’t extend that courtesy to, say, other cross-border industries who might want to gather a few hundred of their employees in Toronto or Edmonton or Calgary or Vancouver, doesn’t it smack of preferential treatment?

(And before you mount that high horse, I don’t think they should “open” the quarantine for the Raptors in any way, shape or form)

And, truth be told, no matter the testing, the extent of the quarantine, the what-have-you, putting something like 600 or 700 extra people in a somewhat close enclosure right now doesn’t make an awful lot of sense when it’s not necessary

Anyway, I really have no skin the game of the NHL selecting where it’ll put its teams when it gets back to playing games.

It just strikes me as odd that anyone imagines this being anything more that a silly public relations move by said cities that has as much chance of backfiring as it does of providing any tangible benefit.

But it will be nice to have NHL games to watch. If the NHL does indeed get back to playing games again.

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