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NBA Players Will Be Allowed To Attend Other Teams Games In The Bubble

The NBA’s plans for how the bubble at Disney in Orlando will function was revealed on Tuesday, with The Athletic’s Shams Charania offering a look at the various phases of the league’s restart plan as well as where players will be staying (hotels were seeded by record) and how the league plans to keep players occupied while stuck in the bubble for potentially three full months.

Keeping players entertained is important, given that there are significant repercussions for leaving the bubble — including the loss of checks for games missed while in quarantine. According to Charania, the league is looking to provide them with a number of amenities, from a “24-hour VIP concierge” to a players only lounge, but what is most notable for fans is the final point here.

Players attending other games might make for some fascinating interactions and liven up the in-arena experience given there will otherwise be no fans at games. It would be tremendous to see LeBron James seated in the third row, socially distanced as best as possible, heckling Chris Paul while the Thunder play. Given that there will be regular testing and they’re all staying at the same hotel, it makes sense to allow them to pop in for games, but it is an added wrinkle that is never available to players in other playoff situations. Real-time scouting will be a unique opportunity, and might lead to some fun interactions.

On top of Charania’s list, Dan Woike of the LA Times reports the league is also working with Disney on opening up select portions of parks for players, among other entertainment ideas to try and keep players occupied.

Concerts and comedy are certainly interesting, but the logistics of getting an act into the bubble requires more testing and ensuring all parties are kept safe and healthy. That said, given the star power that will be in the bubble it’d be interesting to see what acts might be willing to drop by — and, if they’re tested, if they’d be allowed to pop in and watch a game.