The hallway outside the locker room is empty at the Amway Center in Orlando, home of the NBA’s Orlando Magic, on Thursday, March 12, 2020.
Stephen M. Dowell | Orlando Sentinel | Tribune News Service via Getty Images
Milwaukee Bucks co-owner Marc Lasry said the National Basketball Association would continue with the plan to restart games in Orlando next month, despite the recent increase in Covid-19 cases in Florida.
“We’ll see what happens over the course of the next two weeks,” Lasry said on CNBC’s “Halftime Report” on Thursday. He added that for “players that don’t want to go, I fully respect that” but also said of his team that “every single one of our guys is going to be down there.”
Around the country, coronavirus cases continue to spike in states that first began their reopening phases. Florida, Texas and California, three of the largest economies in the U.S., have recently reported a record number of new cases.
Also, Disney workers from Florida have petitioned the company and local government officials to reconsider the reopening of Disney World next month. The NBA plans to play the rest of its season at Disney World. Disney still plans to reopen as planned as of Thursday.
As the number of coronavirus cases surges in Florida, more than 10,000 people have signed the online petition. It is unclear if all signees are actually Disney employees. There is no mention in the petition itself of any affiliation with an employee union.
Asked if he feels the NBA’s restart will happen, Lasry responded: “Yeah, absolutely.”
The NBA hasn’t officially released a statement announcing the season will resume, but hopes to do so this week should it settle remaining issues holding up the agreement with the National Basketball Players Association, including when families are allowed to join players in the NBA-Disney bubble.
On June 5, the NBA approved the plan to restart its season, which Lasry said “should still be fine.” The league will send 22 teams in a closed environment in Orlando, with the season set to resume on July 31.
Each team will play eight regular-season games before entering a full four-round playoff bracket. The season will end no later than Oct. 12.