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The argument for returning to the bubble

The NBA should consider returning to what worked.

San Antonio Spurs v Utah Jazz Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

By now Spurs fans are acutely aware of the 40 games in 68 days facing the Spurs. That seems like a lot because it is. And of course, it is increased by the games that were scheduled for the recent Rodeo Road Trip that had to be curtailed while the Spurs holed up in Charlotte counting flowers on the wall. But here’s something to consider — what happens if teams have to postpone games in the second half of the season due to COVID protocols.

Will there be more games added to the tail end of an already interminable season? Will the league forgo the hot mess in the end? Can we just assign LeBron another trophy and get on with the inevitable dismantling of the Brooklyn Nets without the rigmarole?

Perhaps a better solution would be to move the NBA back into the Orlando bubble at the end of the G-League’s eight-team, single-elimination tournament at the beginning of March. It can perfectly coincide with the end of All-Star Weekend.

Moving back into an isolated and monitored location would increase player and staff safety. There is also the added benefit of eliminating travel, thus providing more down time for athletes. More energetic players could inspire more competitive play.

Let’s face it, the pandemic is going nowhere. The “best” NBA team cannot win a title if teams are hindered throughout the season. It is not entirely unfeasible that basketball fans could be subject to an NBA Finals with superstars unavailable due to protocols breached during postseason travel. God forbid, players go get their hair cut before the big game.

On top of that, the stadiums are empty. Fans cannot enjoy their team in person. Without an audience, the bubble just makes sense all around.

No fans, no travel, no botched coronavirus test protocols.

Plus, if memory serves, the Spurs played better in the bubble. If that’s not a reason to pick up the phone and hound Adam Silver, I don’t know what is.

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