When COVID-19 hit, the sports world was spun into a frenzy. Some sports, however, were able to combat the disease-related issues. Today, we take a look at the NBA and MLB’s bubble plans as well as which one is much better.
Ever since NBA commissioner David Stern retired in 2014, Adam Silver has been absolutely crushing it. As commissioner, Silver had been handed a tough situation. Tasked with creating playoffs amidst a pandemic and social justice issues, he got to work. After a few months of quarantine, the news of an NBA Bubble in Orlando began to surface. 22 teams were to live full time on the Disney campus and play out the rest of the regular season. Upon arrival, players quarantined in a hotel room for two days until two negative tests could be produced. If a test came back positive, they were sent home to safely isolate. After all players in the bubble were cleared of COVID, the games could begin. Next, the regular season quickly concluded, and the playoffs immediately followed with the Lakers claiming the title.
With the exception of a few players breaking the rules, this plan was executed to perfection. Silver covered all areas, including virtual fans, daily COVID tests, personalized practice courts, and much more. With the pandemic covered, the commissioner turned his attention to social justice issues. He allowed messages to be displayed on jerseys rather than names, custom social justice decals on the courts and supported players on social issues. On First Take, Draymond had said that the support Adam SIlver gives the players on social issues makes them feel more comfortable sharing their views.
"In my opinion, we have the best commissioner in all of sports," - Draymond Green
Overall, Adam Silver did an excellent job with his bubble plan, pleasing the players and the fans at the same time. He was able to successfully deliver a refreshing drink to a world thirsting for sports, and we should all be thanking him for it.
The MLB Bubble is vastly different from the NBA’s, but mostly because it sucks. We really can’t even call it a bubble. To the MLB’s credit though, the thought of a bubble was brought up early in the process. The players, however, shot it down quickly because they didn’t like the idea of being away from their families for that long. The league conformed to the player’s wishes, and it cost them. The new plan was to keep teams in their geographic region, only playing teams within their conference. So…who thought this was going to work? The amount of opportunities players have to catch the virus is staggering. For starters, team buses, locker rooms, and dugouts are all areas where players are in close contact with each other. And that’s just during the games. When they aren’t playing, what’s stopping them from contracting COVID at a restaurant or grocery store? And that’s pretty much what happened. Since resuming play, most of the teams in the league have seen COVID cases. After just 8 days, Rob Manfred was already warning he would shut down the whole operation if outbreaks didn’t stop. In addition, the 18 case outbreak on the Marlins almost prompted a revisit to the bubble idea but failed again. Overall, the MLB did not handle resumed play well at all, especially when compared to leagues like the NBA or MLS.