After four months that have seemingly lasted a lifetime, the 2019-20 NBA season is finally set to get back underway. The NBA hasn’t been seen since March 11, but on July 31 we will once again have live basketball on our TV screens. There won’t be any fans in the building, but hoops are hoops.
Whether the league will actually be able to finish the stalled season is anybody’s guess. I have faith in the NBA’s comprehensive safety plans, but time will tell. Having hundreds of professional athletes all confined to a fairly limited area is an opportunity ripe for potential antics.
We’ll see whether those antics wind up leading to any trouble. Most of the 22 teams on the NBA’s “campus” at the Disney World resort near Orlando have been there for about a week already. Some are shy to share too much on social media, while others are happy to give fans a look inside the league’s exclusive bubble setting.
the way boban says “tobiiiiiiii” is beautiful 😢 pic.twitter.com/KVpnGzbVZ0
— NBA Bubble Life (@NBABubbleLife) July 10, 2020
Basketball bettors will also have the chance to wager on the game after the extended hiatus. Most wagerers will be happy to place bets on what happens on the court, but betting sites like BetOnline have gotten a bit creative with their offerings.
The NBA has strict protocols in place designed to help keep the campus as safe as possible while the league tries to conclude its season. We have already seen a couple of players break quarantine too early, which has forced the league to send the players back into isolation for even longer periods of time. For example, Kings big man Richaun Holmes was forced into an extra 10-day quarantine because he crossed the campus’ border to meet his Postmates delivery man.
Clearly, Adam Silver and co. aren’t screwing around. You can actually bet on whether any other players will get into trouble under the “NBA Specials” tab over at BetOnline. Let’s break down these NBA disciplinary bets, shall we?
Will the NBA Ban Any Players From Social Media?
|Outcome||Odds at BetOnline|
As mentioned, players have been happy to share their bubble experiences on social media thus far. 76ers rookie Matisse Thybulle has put together some impressive videos documenting his adventures thus far. Others, like the Clippers’ Paul George and the Mavs’ Boban Marjanovic, have been doing quite a bit of fishing in the various bodies of water surrounding the campus.
Luka Doncic, meanwhile, has been working on his trick shots:
Luka working on a new signature move in Orlando 😅
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) July 11, 2020
So far, it’s been a lot of harmless fun. The NBA isn’t letting players bring any friends or family members into the bubble yet, which means the players are having to keep themselves entertained.
Some players, like the Lakers’ LeBron James, self-impose social media restrictions once the playoffs roll around. So, LeBron certainly isn’t one of the players at risk of getting silenced on Twitter or Instagram during his time in Orlando.
Frankly, it’s hard to imagine the league bringing the social media hammer down on any player. What would a player have to do to draw that much ire from Adam Silver? While some NBA players have been known to get a little recklessly risqué with their social media exploits in the past, it seems pretty unlikely that anyone will do something dumb enough to get completely shut down.
There’s some value with “yes” here, but I’ll pass.
The Bet: No (-2500)
Will A Player Be Removed From The Bubble For A Violation?
|Outcome||Odds at BetOnline|
Holmes and Houston Rockets forward Bruno Caboclo have already violated the terms of their quarantine periods and been sentenced to even longer stints in their rooms. It’s good to see that the league is taking their safety guidelines seriously, but there’s no reason to believe either player was ever really at risk of being kicked off of the campus entirely.
Another player, Brooklyn forward Michael Beasley, left the campus after an illness test came back positive. Another unidentified player did the same. While both were temporarily removed from the bubble, neither was taken out as a result of any sort of a violation.
Would repeated violations be enough to get Holmes or Caboclo booted off campus? It’s possible. Any player that leaves the campus area without approval has to spend 10 days in quarantine as a precaution. That will obviously be a much bigger deal once the games actually start. The Rockets can’t really afford to lose James Harden for 10 days during the playoffs, for example.
I don’t doubt that we’ll see some partying take place inside the NBA’s bubble. We’ve already seen a few players shotgunning beers:
— JJ Redick (@jj_redick) July 12, 2020
As is the case with the social media ban, it’s going to take quite the egregious violation for the league to actually forcibly remove a player from the bubble. The NBA is bringing the season back because they want to make money, and that means having the best possible product on the floor.
“No” is the best bet, once again.
The Bet: No (-500)
Will Any NBA Player Violate Bubble Guidelines?
|Outcome||Odds at BetOnline|
Again, we have already seen at least two instances of players violating guidelines already, and it’s only been about a week. The NBA season is set to run until the middle of October, so it’s a pretty safe bet to assume we’ll see more rule-breaking take place between now and then.
Things will calm down once the playoffs start, though. Players know risking their eligibility once the games become more meaningful can wind up torpedoing their teams’ chances of winning a title.
On the flip side, it’s easy to imagine plenty of players going a little stir crazy if they’re cooped up in the same area for too long. There is actually a hotline players can call in order to report violations, and The Athletic’s Shams Charania says some calls have already been placed:
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) July 14, 2020
If it means the NBA will be able to finish the season, here’s hoping the snitch hotline keeps coming in handy. We’ll definitely see more violations from this point on. It’s only a matter of time.