Drug Testing, Bubble Restrictions As NBA Returns To Orlando

Jun 8, 2020, 3:17 PM | Updated: 4:14 pm
Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell (45) celebrates with fans as he leaves the court following the Jaz...
Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell (45) celebrates with fans as he leaves the court following the Jazz's 96-91 win over the Oklahoma City Thunder in Game 6 of an NBA basketball first-round playoff series Friday, April 27, 2018, in Salt Lake City. The Jazz won the series. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)
(AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – A clearer picture is beginning to emerge of what the NBA’s return will look like. Shams Charania of The Athletic tweeted two new protocols for league players as they head to Orlando to resume the NBA season. In addition to the number of games being played, new restrictions are in playoff for drug testing and bubble travel.

NBA Drug Testing

First, the NBA will not test players for recreational drugs while in Orlando. The NBA suspended its drug testing policy shortly after haunting the season due to the coronavirus outbreak. However, the league will be testing players for performance-enhancing drugs while at the Disney World Resorts.

Testing league players was a logistical problem for the NBA with limited travel options after the coronavirus outbreak. On Friday, the NBA Players Association told players they would undergo routine drug testing via blood tests while in Orlando.

Bubble Travel

In addition to drug testing, rules for traveling in and out of the bubble environment are becoming clearer.

A 10 day quarantine period is required for players who leave the bubble according to Charania. Furthermore, players must have two negative coronavirus tests before taking the floor.

Restrictions within the bubble have been a point of discussion between the league and its players. Players with young families were hesitant to commit to moving to the bubble for an extended period of time. That includes both the Utah Jazz Joe Ingles and Milwaukee Bucks Giannis Antetokounmpo.

Last week, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported that players and coaches can participate in non-basketball activities at Disney World.

Strict quarantine protocols for those who leave the bubble will dissuade players from venturing off Disney property. Wojnarowski reported that NBA teams returning to Orlando can adjust their roster to replace injured or sick players. Teams can sign players from the G-League, or players that appeared on NBA and training camp rosters this season.

Postseason Dates

Charania also provided an update on what the NBA’s postseason schedule will look like.

In case of a play-in tournament, those games would be held on August 16-17.

The first round of the playoffs would begin August 18.

The second round is set to begin on September 1.

The Conference Finals would begin on September 15.

And the finals would begin on September 30.

Would only two weeks to play or fewer to play each playoff round, teams should not expect more than one day off between playoff games in a seven-game series.

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