Last Updated on June 11, 2020
The NBA is moving forward with a plan to restart the 2020 season in a “bubble” at Walt Disney World, but there are still plenty of logistical hurdles that the league needs to jump. For one, media access is still up in the air, but according to Robert Silverman of The Daily Beast, a small group of reporters will be allowed in the bubble, but they won’t be allowed back in if they leave.
“According to a Professional Basketball Writers Association memo, a select group of reporters could be locked inside the Disney bubble for at least three-and-a-half months—with no option to re-enter if they exit quarantine,” Silverman wrote.
This type of arrangement between the league and the media would be unprecedented, but these are entirely new circumstances. The NBA is rightfully taking every precaution to ensure that players, staff, and media are kept safe. One positive coronavirus diagnosis for a star player could flip the entire NBA restart on its head.
“Reached by phone, [PBWA president Josh] Robbins confirmed the veracity and contents of the email,” Silverman later added. “Negotiations between the PBWA and the league are ongoing, he reiterated. The NBA did not respond to a request for comment but a source familiar with the deliberations said the league’s media plan has not yet been finalized. “
EXCLUSIVE: The NBA could lock a select group of reporters inside its Disney “bubble” for at least 3 1/2 months—with no option to re-enter if they exit quarantine https://t.co/ncsjuIRl8Q
— The Daily Beast (@thedailybeast) June 11, 2020
Right now, it looks like the NBA is going to move forward with this tiered-system for reporters. The top-tier reporters will be allowed to interact with players and coaches inside the bubble on a limited basis. The second-tier of reporters will be allowed to attend games, but they won’t be allowed to stay on campus or interact with any coaches or players.
As it stands, the costs associated with sending a reporter into quarantine for three-plus months are going to be prohibitive for most outlets. Lodging is not something the NBA would cover and outlets are going to have to decide if it’s worth the major investment to send a reporter. Tier-one reporters with inside access might make sense, but sending a tier-two reporter who won’t have access to players or coaches will likely be too high a price for anyone.