As the NBA nears its restart the end of July, Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban believes the league can safely play in an Orlando bubble despite the significant surge in Covid-19 cases in recent weeks.
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“It hasn’t really increased at all,” Cuban said when asked if concern has increased about resuming the season with cases surging in Florida. “There’s obviously risk, but each and every day, the science improves and the medical response has gotten smarter. Look, the number of cases just goes to show you that you need to be quarantined, you need to be safe, you need to be diligent, we need to wear our masks and to take the necessary precautions, and that’s exactly what we’ll do.
“If the general population in all of these cities, including Dallas, had followed those same precautions and hadn’t gotten overly confident that this was behind us, we wouldn’t be experiencing what we are today. So I think the bubble will actually make our players safer.”
Florida’s Department of Health reported more than 6,000 additional cases of the coronavirus on Tuesday, though the numbers have come down from the 9580 high from just days ago.
For his part, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver expressed confidence that a campus-environment should offer an ample amount of protection just as long as there is a constant testing regimen.
“We are going to see as we go,” Silver said. “Certainly if cases are isolated, that’s one thing. A lot of the determination will be our understanding of how our community became infected. That will be part of our judgment in terms of whether we should continue. But certainly if we had a lot of cases, we are going to stop. You cannot run from this virus.
“I am absolutely convinced that it will be safer on this campus than off this campus because there aren’t many situations that I am aware of where there is mass testing of asymptomatic employees,” Silver added of the NBA’s plan to resume play at Walt Disney World Resort. “In some ways, this is maybe a model for how other industries can ultimately open. But I am only going to say we will be responsible and watch what is happening, but the biggest indicator will be if we begin to see a spread in our community.”
5 percent of those NBA players tested were positive for the coronavirus with at least one team, the Brooklyn Nets, potentially playing in Orlando without a few key players. As a result, the line on the Magic-Nets game has shot from Orlando -1 to -3.5 by late Tuesday morning.
Nets center DeAndre Jordan has tested positive for the coronavirus and opted out of the league season reboot, he announced Monday.
“Found out last night and confirmed again today that I’ve tested positive for Covid while being back in market,” Jordan wrote on Twitter. “As a result of this, I will not be in Orlando for the resumption of the season.”
Nets guard Spencer Dinwiddie tested positive for COVID-19, though Dinwiddie has yet to officially rule himself out, he told The Athletic on Monday.
Forward Wilson Chandler told ESPN on Sunday that he opted out of the season’s restart, citing family concerns.
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