With the NBA playoffs set to begin next week, the league has finalized rules on just who is actually allowed inside the clean site at the Wide World of Sports complex in Florida. The details were reported by Adrian Wojnarowski over at ESPN.
Who can come?
Here’s what it comes down to: Up to four family members or romantic partners will be allowed into the Bubble per player, and children don’t count toward that total. Player agents, massage therapists, and other accessory staff for players will not be among the four people allowed in, while those with whom players have “long-standing relationships,” i.e. friends or romantic partners, will be.
Players cannot bring people “known by the player only through social media or an intermediary.” This means that if a person has never met a player, or if they’ve only met a time or two, or if they’re friends only because they’re tight on Instagram, they aren’t allowed in.
How do they get into the Bubble?
Family and friends joining players in the Bubble will have to quarantine for at least four days and take a negative test before riding an organization’s charter jet to Orlando, where they will then isolate for another four days in Orlando, where they will partake in the league’s strict resting regimen. If they’d rather just get down to Orlando, they can opt to fly there and quarantine for seven days.
Can they attend games?
The short answer is yes. Wojnarowski reports that “players are allowed one ticket per guest per playoff game, with an additional seat available to a child 32 inches or shorter, according to the memo.”
They’re not visible from most angles on television, but there are seats in the arenas at the Wide World of Sports complex, where media members who are not actively covering the game are allowed to sit. This is where families will likely sit and watch playoff games in the coming weeks.
Will they be able to move about?
Just like the players and staff who have been in the Bubble since early July, families and friends will be able to fish, hit the pool, and do anything they want on the campus, but they will be prevented from attending Walt Disney World theme parks or leaving the clean site. One would assume they’d be subject to the same quarantine and testing protocols as players and staff in the event that they had to leave for an emergency, like Lou Williams, Zion Williamson, and Montrezl Harrell all did this summer.
Two additional team staff members from each organization will be able to join the team in Orlando starting next week when the postseason begins.