NBA unveils new ‘Black Lives Matter’ on-court paint job and spaced-out bench seating as the league prepares to restart next week amid pandemic
- The NBA’s new ‘Black Lives Matter’ court paint and socially distanced bench chairs were unveiled at Disney World in Orlando as the league prepares to restart
- ESPN ‘s Malika Andrews posted pictures on social media from inside the NBA’s bubble, which is aimed at keeping players and staff safe from the outbreak
- Beginning next week, 22 of the 30 NBA teams will restart the 2019-2020 season
- The NBA’s bubble appears to be working, as no players tested positive last week
- Two players tested positive during the first week teams spent at Disney after a whopping 19 were initially found to be infected when they arrived in Orlando
The NBA’s new ‘Black Lives Matter’ court paint and socially distanced bench chairs have been unveiled at Disney World in Orlando as the league prepares to restart its season next week amid the coronavirus pandemic.
ESPN’s Malika Andrews posted pictures on social media from inside the NBA’s bubble, which is aimed at keeping players and staff safe from the outbreak while 22 of the 30 league teams attempt to finish the 2019-2020 season.
The paint job had previously been reported, but had gone unseen until Tuesday. Players will also have the option of having social justice messages, like ‘Black Lives Matter,’ emblazoned on the backs of their jerseys.
ESPN ‘s Malika Andrews posted pictures on social media from inside the NBA’s bubble, which is aimed at keeping players and staff safe from the outbreak while 22 of the 30 league teams attempt to finish the 2019-2020 season
Bench chairs have been spread several feet apart in hopes of limiting the risk of infection
The games will take place at ESPN’s Wide World of Sports campus at Disney World, where players will be spaced on the bench and announcers will be enclosed in plexiglass to reduce risk of infection.
Since spectators are not permitted to attend, the court is also surrounded by large scoreboard screens, which will display messages for fans at home and advertisements.
The good news for the NBA is that the bubble appears to be working.
With zero positive test results in the NBA bubble this week, Los Angeles Clippers coach Doc Rivers joked that the league could share its approach to COVID-19 prevention with President Donald Trump.
‘Maybe we should send our game plan to the White House,’ Rivers said Tuesday.
The ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex is a 255-acre campus with multiple arenas that could host games simultaneously and has been home to, among other things, the Jr. NBA World Championship. ESPN is primarily owned by Disney, one of the NBA’s broadcast partners
(Pictured) The HP Field House at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. As part of the NBA’s plan to highlight social just issues, the league has reportedly decided to paint ‘Black Lives Matter’ onto courts at ESPN’s Wide World of Sports Complex near Orlando, Florida when the season restarts next month
Two players tested positive during the first week teams spent at the Walt Disney World Resort near Orlando from July 7-13, including Houston Rockets star Russell Westbrook.
Clippers guard Lou Williams and coach Doc Rivers during a recent practice in Orlando
Another 19 players tested positive for the coronavirus during in-market testing that began July 1 before the teams headed to central Florida.
Numbers continue to surge elsewhere in Florida. ABC News reported Monday there were 10,347 new cases in the last 24 hours, bringing the state’s total to 360,394. The seven-day average has been greater than 10,000 over the last week, according to the state health department, and more than 5,000 have died in Florida.
‘They’ve done everything right as far as I’m concerned,’ Rivers said of the NBA incorporating constant symptom checks and mandating masks at the resort. ‘When you think about that we’re running a village for the first time, the league is doing pretty well. … But as far as our health, we have an app every morning that we have to do, wearing bands, facemasks.’
The Clippers are scheduled to resume the 2019-2020 season on July 30 against the Los Angeles Lakers.
With zero positive test results in the NBA bubble this week, Clippers coach Doc Rivers joked that the league could share its approach to COVID-19 prevention with Donald Trump
NBA PLAYER AMENITIES AT DISNEY
The NBA distributed a handbook describing the amenities for players staying at one of three Disney World properties: The Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, the Yacht Club Resort and the Gran Destino Tower at Coronado Springs Resort.
- Athletes will have 24-hour concierge service
- Daily entertainment will be made available, including movie screenings and DJs. Teams can also take fishing trips, golf outings or book a private restaurant for an evening
- There will be a players-only lounge with TVs, arcade games, and ping pong – although doubles is strictly forbidden due to social distancing guidelines
- Every team will have a crew of Disney chefs and cooks ‘to create individualized team menus, support team dietary needs, and ensure health and safety guidelines are followed.’ Every player will receive ‘three freshly-prepared meals a day, and four meals a day on Game days’
- There will be chaplain services, yoga sessions, virtual mind-health sessions and other mental health services
- Players can book appointments at a private salon or barbershop
Disney’s Yacht Club Resort will house several NBA teams for a portion of the summer