MANILA, Philippines– It’s a new year and a new NBA season, but the unique coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is bringing the exact same problems for the league.

From players sidelined due to favorable tests and contact tracing, to a wave of video game postponements due to health procedures, the NBA is far from leaving the spectre of COVID-19.

Now, as a way to keep the damage in check, the league and the NBA Gamer’s Association has agreed to a brand-new set of health and wellness protocols– a minimum of for the next two weeks.

The protocols now mandate gamers and group staff to follow stringent policies, forbiding them to leave their houses other than for “team-related activities” at the group facility or arena, outside workout, or [to] perform necessary activities, and in extraordinary scenarios.

The new guidelines also need anyone in routine family contact with gamers or staff to be evaluated for COVID-19 twice a week.

While on the roadway, players will also no longer be allowed to have guests in their hotel spaces, while likewise restricted in where they can go, and with whom they can connect with.

This new setup has actually currently drawn disappointment with Portland Trailblazers star Damian Lillard who had this to say.

“I feel like I’m living my life in a box. I go to practice, I return home, I do not go anywhere else,” said Lillard.

But it appears like the only possible solution for the NBA, with gamers relatively confident to break health protocols if left unattended. James Harden’s strip club mess last year just proves the point.

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to wreak havoc in the United States, with record-high deaths and infections tallied almost every day.

With the pandemic’s end nowhere near in sight, it pleads the question: Should the NBA restore their “bubble”?

The bubble established in Orlando, Florida to complete the 2019-20 season was airtight, without any positive tests in their months-long stay.

While staging a bubble for a 30-team delegation may prove to be a tall order, it may be the only alternative that offers the greatest level of safety to the league’s gamers and those around them.

However, going back to a bubble setup will certainly feature cons as significant as the pros.

The very first being the monetary ramifications of staging another bubble of its size, along with considering the players’ desires to be with their households.

Their stay at the Orlando bubble had currently been met homesickness as they covered up the season. What more if you keep players secured for more than 3 months?

The huge benefit of the security and the discipline provided by the bubbble does stare at the league glaringly.

This still being the most effective– and the safest– way to happen with the season.

Must the gamer delegation of 30 teams prove to be too large to effectively stage a bubble, the NBA could consider smaller sized bubbles where groups would play games against those within their own bubble first, before shuffling around with the other bubbles to finish their matches against other groups.

Additionally, the league might do away with the entire bubble however still execute these more stringent steps for the remainder of the season.

If the league wants to complete the year with no major snags, something’s got to give.