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Some NBA Reporters Could Live And Work In The Orlando Bubble This Summer

With 22 teams going to Orlando to resume the NBA season next month, there will be plenty of opportunities for the media to cover teams they haven’t had great access to since the spring. However, in an attempt to cut down on total bodies in the quarantine bubble down in Florida, the league is reportedly looking to allow only a small portion of those who cover the sport to actually interact with players and coaches in-person.

Not to get too inside-baseball here, but there’s an organization for everyone who covers basketball for a living, called the Professional Basketball Writers Association. The same thing exists for football, the White House, and many other high-level beats. In effect, the NBA is working with the PBWA to categorize a small number of its writers as “first-tier,” and these folks would be able to take part in postgame press conferences and practices and everything that typically goes into covering the NBA.

Then, according to Robert Silverman at The Daily Beast, a smaller group of “second-tier” reporters would be around basically only in spirit. They would be able to be in the stands for games, but in order to mitigate the transmission opportunities for the coronavirus, these reporters would not be allowed to interact personally with players, coaches, or really anyone.

If you’re wondering what the point of that would be, you’re not the only one. That’s exactly what the PBWA is negotiating with the league right now. Not only the access to ensure local beat reporters and smaller publications have equal opportunity to cover the league, but also the affordability of all of this. The downside of trapping everyone at a luxury resort is that it’s expensive. Staying on-property at Walt Disney World for three months is not something in the budget for really anyone. These concerns may seem trivial, or something that only those who cover the league should care about, but if you’re a Spurs or Grizzlies or any other small market reporter whose local outlets may not have the money to cover the league, or would be blocked out as “second-tier” reporters even if they did make the trip, this is a decently big deal.