The Phoenix Suns will be entering the bubble in Orlando in early July with 21 other teams, through it’s already been made clear that the better your team the better your accommodations.
The Suns will be one of six non-seeded teams to stay at the Yacht Club resort in Disney while they fight for the playoffs. All of the Blazers, Kings, Pelicans, Spurs, Suns and Wizards are out of playoff seeding, but will have the 8-game stint to force their way in.
From now on, we refer to teams stuck in the middle of the league (teams that aren’t quite good, but aren’t quite bad) as “The Yacht Club” https://t.co/0NLe0KVbLF— Sam Vecenie (@Sam_Vecenie) June 16, 2020
As Sam Vecenie pointed out, we can call the ‘just outside the playoffs’ teams the Yacht Club forever and ever now.
It’s not like the Suns and others will be suffering...
Of course, players can visit each other throughout their stay but the most accessible teams will be the ones one the outside looking in.
While the Suns are in the Yacht Club, their former teammates De’Anthony Melton and Josh Jackson will be staying in the Grand Floridian, by the way. The Grizzlies have a 3.5 game lead over the Yacht Club field for the right to play the Lakers in the first round of the playoffs.
Other tidbits on the players’ stay in Orlando:
- The can wear a ring that will beep when they are too close to another person for too long
- a MagicBand that will do lots of cool things, including checking for coronavirus status
- regular testing and contact tracing
- those who test positive go into isolation housing (which lasts 10-14 days)
- if players leave the campus, they will have to go into isolation housing too
- players can also be subject to expulsion from the campus/games if their violation is strong
- A players-only lounge (with video games, including NBA 2K availability), arcade gaming, ping pong, movie screenings, DJ sets, ping pong tables, lawn games and more
- Virtual chaplain services, yoga/meditation, virtual mental health sessions and mental health services.
- Pool and trails for running and riding bikes
- Personal services, including barbers, manicures, pedicures, hair braiders, available by appointment
- A 24-hour VIP concierge, available to assist with requests for activities, products or services
- Excursions: Team-sponsored outings (restaurants, boating, bowling, fishing, golfing), access to NBA Experience, Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Disney’s Wild Africa Trek.
All of the activities come with significant protocols. Examples such as:
- Six feet of physical distance and no headsets allowed during video gaming
- No doubles during ping pong
- Each deck of cards is disposed of after use
- No caddies during golfing; no sharing of clubs and balls; hand sanitizer used throughout
- Families can sit together at pooling, but six feet of social distancing; must disinfect any poolside loungers
Kind of sounds like a family vacation when you’re a teenager right?
I can imagine a lot of these players getting closer to each other than ever before, considering their self-imposed quarantine with each other. Makes you wonder how this will affect free agency in the future.
The biggest dangers are players leaving the bubble and the Disney employees themselves who can carry in the virus from the outside, because they will go home each night like regular people.
Good luck and stay safe out there folks.