Families are reuniting inside the NBA bubble. Watch these sweet moments unfold.
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – NBA coaches and staffers will be allowed to bring guests to the NBA campus,according to a memo sent to team presidents and general managers on Tuesday.
“Beginning next week, teams that have advanced or may advance to the Conference Finals will be able to host ten guests for their team’s traveling staff on the NBA Campus at Disney,” the memo read.
On Friday, Denver Nuggets coach Michael Malone called it “criminal in nature” that coaches and other staffers were not allowed to have guests.
“First, I’m going to say something that has nothing to do with your question,” Malone began. “This is day No. 60, and the reason I bring that up is because the players have their families here, which they deserve. It’s the right thing to do. The referees are allowed to bring one guest, which is great for the referees. The coaches are not allowed to bring anybody. I say shame on you, NBA.
“This is crazy. I miss my family, and I think I speak for me, I speak for my coaches and probably all the coaches down here. Sixty days and not having access and not being granted the privilege to have my family come here, to me, is criminal in nature and that shouldn’t be at all, so I wanted to get that off my chest.”
Other coaches around the league had also expressed a wish to have family on campus. While referees can have guests, no referee has brought a guest yet.
The league had been working with Dallas Mavericks coach and National Basketball Coaches Association president Rick Carlisle to formulate a plan prior to Malone’s comments, two people familiar with the situation told USA TODAY Sports.
The people requested anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly about the topic.
All guests must complete a seven-day quarantine in a room on the Disney campus and follow all guidelines and restrictions while on campus, including daily testing, daily symptom checks, wearing a mask and social distancing, according to the memo.
Guests are scheduled to arrive on Monday, and guests who cannot travel to Orlando then will be given another date to arrive. Teams must submit a list of potential guests by 3 p.m. ET Wednesday. Guests must also provide a negative COVID-19 test before entering the bubble.
“I think it’s great that the league acknowledged it and listened to our feedback about it,” said Heat coach Erik Spoelstra, who has two young children, including a son born in December. “Just that acknowledgement and empathy of understanding that everybody has had to make a sacrifice. We are all active participants in this.
“Make no mistake about it, we all want to make this work. These are not normal times. You have to do things with great discipline and adherence.”
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