The NBA Is Going to Walt Disney World

June 3, 2020, 3:54 PM · Tomorrow, it will be official. The NBA is going to Disney World. Multiple reports say that the NBA on Thursday will approve a plan to resume the pro basketball league's season at Disney's Wide World of Sports facility.

The plan would bring 22 of the league's teams to the Walt Disney World Resort to play eight regular season games to determine the 16 playoff teams and seedings, then proceed through the NBA Playoffs, which would last until October. Eight teams that were more than six games back from the final playoff spot in each conference at the time the league suspended its season in March will not make the trip to Orlando, meaning that their seasons are over. (Sorry to fans in Atlanta, Charlotte, Chicago, Cleveland, Detroit, Minnesota, New York, and the San Francisco Bay Area.)

So can you watch the games if you're planning a trip to Disney this summer? Sure... on your hotel room TV.

Games will be closed to the public, with only players, coaches, officials, broadcast crews and essential personnel allowed inside. Word is that the league will be housed in 2,000 rooms at the Coronado Springs, with players only allowed outside of the league's "bubble" to play golf or eat at outdoor restaurants.

So, maybe you might see some players at Disney Springs? If you do, don't try to get an autograph or selfie, though. On behalf of all the other fans who want to see these games get played, please respect social distancing.

Play would start in late July, following training camps in teams home cities before they head to Orlando. Everyone involved, including Disney cast members who come in contact with league personnel, would get tested daily for Covid-19, according to media reports. Anyone testing positive gets treated while their contacts - including teammates - go into quarantine. So it's possible that Covid might still disrupt the NBA season, should the league's plans not be able to keep everyone completely isolated from the virus.

I'm fascinated to see how a neutral-court playoffs would go, since there won't be fans in the stands and no one's sleeping at home before any games. But there won't be travel between games, either, which actually could leave players more refreshed than usual. And once this season wraps, what happens for the next season? Will the NBA move immediately into its traditional start at the end of October or give its finals teams some time off by delaying the 2020-21 season for a few extra weeks?

Tomorrow's announcement should provide additional detail.

Replies (7)

June 3, 2020 at 4:02 PM

Yep, I figured logical the teams that had no chance in March to get into playoffs would be left behind which sucks for them to be sure.

But at least some conclusion while NCAA guys will forever debate who would have been 2020 National Champions.

June 3, 2020 at 4:51 PM

Glad they are trying to provide closure for the season. Yeah please everyone, let these people be. As much as getting an autograph or handshake would be a neat experience these players cant risk it. It seems the nba will be very careful about this. I also wonder how these grown men will take to being "stuck" in one location. Not a bad deal at all but what if one escapes outside the hotel? Here is hoping no dennis rodman wannabe disappears outside the zone and causes a postponement of the season.

June 3, 2020 at 4:54 PM

Question is, will they get free dining?

June 3, 2020 at 5:32 PM

NBA @ Disney 2020: Where 'Space Jam' meets 'Groundhog Day.'

June 3, 2020 at 5:57 PM

The timing of this will really be key.

The 2nd wave of the virus will hit, but when it will start - and peak - remains unknown.

Might be best to try and get the games played and season completed in any form as quickly as possible.

September/October of 2020 might make March/April look like a dress rehearsal.

We shall see...

June 3, 2020 at 8:43 PM

I’m just here to say- OKC Thunder takes the championship this year.

June 3, 2020 at 10:25 PM

@NYPark: Maybe sooner given the events of the last week. Although this time, hopefully, hospitals better prepared.

Sadly, can see majority of states refusing to do shelter orders again with many no doubt going "clearly, they didn't work before so why try it again?"

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