The rules of the NBA bubble in Orlando are about to change. Up until now, players, coaches, staff and media personnel were the only ones allowed inside. Starting with the second round of the playoffs, players will be able to have up to four guests or family members join them, plus children.
But for this to happen, players must provide proof of their “long-standing relationships” and those without “an established pre-existing, personal and known relationship” will be forbidden according to a league memo obtained by ESPN. Simply put, this means no booty calls.
It’s not news that NBA players like to keep female company during the season, especially while traveling. Thanks to social media platforms like Twitter and Instagram, and dating apps like Tinder, it’s now easier than ever. And while we don’t promote or approve of infidelity, it’s been a part of NBA culture for a long time. So it’s no surprise that the league immediately said no to the idea of visitors “known by the player only through social media or an intermediary,” especially during these dangerous times.
Not allowing players to pose a risk to their teammates, coaches, staff and others is the right move. For those that are seeking to bring in actual family and close friends for some much needed time together and support, they’ll have to follow a specific quarantine protocol before being allowed in. Families can either quarantine for three days in the team’s market before taking a franchise charter flight to Orlando with an additional four days of quarantine on Disney campus or elect to quarantine for seven days off-site. They will also be restricted from leaving the bubble during their stay just like everyone else already there.
Additionally, players will only be allowed one ticket per guest per playoff game, and an additional children’s seat for those 32 inches or shorter. People with business relations to the players are prohibited and that includes agents, chefs, trainers and tattoo artists. Barbers are already provided for the players inside the bubble with their own NBA Barbershop.