NBA may use a “bubble” for next season

Michele Roberts NBPA
Photo: David Dow/Getty Images

NBPA executive director Michele Roberts believes that the NBA might need a “bubble” to complete next season as well.

“If tomorrow looks like today, I don’t know how we say we can do it differently,” Roberts told ESPN’s Tim Bontemps. “If tomorrow looks like today, and today we all acknowledge — and this is not Michele talking, this is the league, together with the PA and our respective experts saying, ‘This is the way to do it’ — then that’s going to have to be the way to do it.”

Roberts is inside the “bubble” as the NBA scrimmage schedule came to an end on July 28 and moved closer to the start of the “seeding games.”

The Orlando campus continues to be free of any new coronavirus cases, as there have only been two total cases, both when the players first arrived in Orlando.

The “bubble” is working so far and Roberts is pleased with the conditions of it.

“For me to comply with the health and safety protocols, obviously I have to wear a mask and all that, but the affirmative things you have to do are really simple, and the facilities where the players are able to play and work out are absolutely consistent with the quality that they need to have and are accustomed to using,” Roberts said. “The medical facilities and the physicians on campus, I’m not worried about anyone getting sick and not being able to get absolutely immediate health care. So, no, I am completely satisfied that we’ve come up with the right protocol.”

Roberts continued, “Nothing is perfect, and knock on wood every day and cross my fingers every day that no one has gotten infected since we’ve been here. But this is clearly, we’ve happened upon the way to play. And the players are largely cool with it.”

Roberts also mentioned that the league and the union are preparing for negotiations about how to handle the decrease in revenue next season.

The two sides are “beginning some very high-level discussions with respect to what the potential issues are,” but it isn’t her concern right now.

“My preference is that we take care of the only things that we have to take care of, and that is to deal with what presumably is going to be a reduction in revenue of some consequence,” Roberts said. “So, no, the notion of accelerating a renegotiation of the CBA, no. That’s not something that has been addressed and, I would venture to say, is not going to happen. We’ll do what we have to do and no more, and then we’ll move on.”

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