The eight teams who were not invited to resume the season at Walt Disney World had hoped to have their own bubble — something that would have provided them an opportunity to play competitively instead of simply taking what could end up being a nine-month hiatus from the game.
That plan, however, seems to have fallen apart.
According to The Athletic’s Sham Charania and Sam Amick, there is “growing belief” among the eight teams that the bubble will not happen. In-market minicamps for teams likely isn’t on the table anymore, either.
“There’s nothing happening,” one general manager said on Tuesday, via The Athletic. “It’s a shame. It’s a huge detriment to these eight franchises that were left behind.”
Six teams from the Eastern Conference weren’t invited to the bubble: The Atlanta Hawks, Charlotte Hornets, Chicago Bulls, Cleveland Cavaliers, Detroit Pistons and New York Knicks. The Golden State Warriors and Minnesota Timberwolves were the two teams not invited from the Western Conference.
An extended break without basketball
The NBA suspended play on March 11 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and allowed the 22 teams inside the bubble in Florida to resume work there late month.
The eight teams not included have only been allowed to do individual work inside their respective facilities, something that could end up putting them at a significant disadvantage for next season — something that is expected to start at some point in December.
There was hope, per The Athletic, that the eight teams could come together in a single city — Chicago was initially floated as a possible location — to play against one another in order to get some live, real basketball in. There has been a growing frustration among those eight teams, however, because discussions have been so inconsistent.
They had hoped to start minicamps by mid-August, too, though those hopes were reportedly shattered after a general managers call last week.
Those minicamps, Pistons coach Dwane Casey said last month, were much more important in his eyes than a secondary bubble with everyone.
“We’d rather do that than go to the bubble, because unlike those teams in Orlando, we wouldn’t be playing for the same reason,” Casey said in July, via ESPN. “The reason we want these minicamps is to get our team together, to have that camaraderie, to improve and enjoy some competition.
“We feel we can do that safely in our own environment. We can’t let these guys sit around from March 11 to December without something. It’s going to hurt their careers. It’s too long of a layoff."
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