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Report: NBPA sends NBA players a manual detailing what life in Orlando will be like

SHARE Report: NBPA sends NBA players a manual detailing what life in Orlando will be like

A sign marking the entrance to ESPN’s Wide World of Sports at Walt Disney World is seen Wednesday, June 3, 2020, in Kissimmee, Fla.

John Raoux, Associated Press

SALT LAKE CITY — The National Basketball Players Association sent a manual to every player which includes a six-phase outline of what life will be like inside the Orlando bubble, according to The Athletic’s Shams Charania.

The manual reportedly opens by noting that players who do not participate in the NBA’s 2019-20 season restart will not be disciplined.

“It is critical that every player understand that he has the right to choose not to return to play,” it reads. “Any player who exercises this right will not be disciplined. To respect the decision of those who do return to play, it has been agreed that any player who chooses not to participate will have his compensation reduced by 1/92.6 for each game missed up to a cap of 14 games, even if his team plays more than 14 games in Orlando.”

According to Charania, who obtained a copy of the manual, players who are “excused” or “protected” will not have their salary reduced for non-participation. Excused players are those who are determined to be at a higher risk for serious illness because of COVID-19. The determination is made by a panel of medical experts. Protected players are those who believe that they are at a higher risk for coronavirus-related illness and are designated as a protected player by their respective team.

Players who do not wish to take part in the restart have been asked to let their team know by June 24. Requests to be evaluated to be an “excused” player must be made by June 25.

The rest of the manual outlines six phases from teams returning to home markets and every step along the way through play resuming in Orlando.

In phase one, which runs through June 22, players are to return to home markets, take part in individual voluntary workouts, and otherwise stay home where them and any other housemates are asked to only leave for essential activities.

The Toronto Raptors are the lone team that will be traveling to Florida during phase one since travel and quarantine restrictions could make future travel more difficult.

Phase two begins on June 23 and ends June 30.

During this time all players and team staff will be tested for COVID-19 and will continue to maintain distancing guidelines while only taking part in individual workouts.

On July 1, in phase three, head coaches will be allowed to observe and participate in individual player workouts which will be mandatory during phase three. Group activities are still prohibited during this time.

On a staggered basis from July 7 to July 11, teams will begin arriving in Orlando during phase four.

In phase 4.A, after arriving in Orlando, players and staff will have to stay isolated in their hotel rooms until they have two negative COVID-19 tests at least 24 hours apart from one another.

All team personnel and NBA staff will be required to wear a “proximity alarm” that will go off if they spend more than five seconds within 6 feet of another person who is also wearing an alarm. For players, the alarm is optional.

“Players will also have the option of wearing an Oura smart ring that may help with the early detection of the coronavirus and will track temperature, respiratory and heart rate and other measures,” Charania reported.

Everyone in the NBA bubble, which the league is calling a “campus” will be required to adhere to social distancing guidelines and wear a mask at all times unless they are working out, eating or during outdoor activity in which they are more than 6 feet away from another person.

Some Disney employees who enter the bubble are not required to be tested for COVID-19 but will undergo daily symptom and temperature checks.

After everyone is tested and cleared, phase 4.B will through July 21.

This is when teams will start practices, meetings and group activities in the bubble, while continuing regular COVID-19 testing and daily symptom and temperature checks.

Players will be able to take part in social activities with players and staff who are staying in the same hotel, with only brief interactions between those in the other hotels within the bubble. NBA teams will be split between four hotels.

Players will not be allowed to go into each other’s hotel rooms, and meals eaten with players from other teams must be outside.

“If a player leaves without prior approval, upon re-entry he will be subject to enhanced testing (including nasopharyngeal (deep nasal) swab testing), a 10-14 day self-quarantine period and a reduction in compensation for any game in which he is unable to play as a result of his absence from campus,” the memo reads.

From July 22 to July 29, in phase five, each team will play in three scrimmage games.

From July 22 on, all players and staff will be able to socialize regardless of which hotel they are in but are still prohibited from entering any hotel room other than their own.

Phase six details the rest of the NBA season and playoffs which will run from July 30 to Oct. 13.

This includes the eight regular season games that each team will play as well as a possible play-in tournament for the playoffs, which will play out as normal with four rounds of best-of-seven series.

Players will be permitted to attend games when they aren’t playing, according to Charania. After the first round of the playoffs, guests will be permitted within the bubble.

Each team is allowed to reserve up to 17 (dependent on number of players with the team) guest rooms for guests of players. All guests must self-quarantine for three days before arriving to the NBA campus. Then the guests will be required to quarantine in the bubble for four days while having daily coronavirus tests during the four-day isolation. Any guest that leaves the bubble can not return.

In a Monday night appearance on ESPN, NBA commissioner Adam Silver stressed how intense conditions would be in Orlando and said he understands there will be players who won’t want to participate.

“It may not be for everyone,” he said. “It will entail enormous sacrifice on behalf of those players and for everyone involved, the coaches, the referees. Listen, it’s not an ideal situation, we’re trying to find a way to our own normal in the middle of a pandemic, in the middle of essentially a recession or worse, with 40 million unemployed, and now with enormous social unrest in the country, and so as we work through these issues, I can understand how some players may feel that it’s not for them.”