NBA to Require Proof of Long-Standing Relationship for Non-Family Guests Inside Bubble
The NBA is preparing to allow players to invite guests inside the Orlando bubble — but the league plans to implement some restrictions on just who is allowed.
According to the Associated Press, NBA teams will be allowed to invite guests to the Walt Disney World campus just before the start of the second round of the playoffs, a memo sent by the NBA on Wednesday detailed.
Most players will be able to invite four guests, who can be family members or “longtime close personal friends with whom a player has an established, pre-existing, and known personal relationship," the outlet reported. Other qualifying guests include family childcare providers and security members.
But the league also announced all those who won't qualify for a player's invite list, such as “trainers, physical or massage therapists, personal chefs, hair/apparel stylists, tattoo artists, and current/prospective business partners, and certified agents (other than family members), among others."
Casual acquaintances, friends of friends, or anyone the player hasn't met in person also won't be allowed.
But many players have already voiced how much they miss their families, including Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James.
"I miss the hell out of my family," James — who shares sons LeBron Jr., 15, and Bryce, 13, and daughter Zhuri, 5, with his wife Savannah — told reporters earlier this month, according to USA Today. "My wife, my kids, my mother. And so on and so on. It’s a huge challenge."
James, 35, previously spoke about how much he missed his mother, Gloria, while quarantining during the coronavirus pandemic.
"It’s the first time in my life that I went that long without seeing my mom,” he said in July. "[She's] the only thing that I really missed."
"I hadn’t seen my mom since All-Star weekend and then I saw her two weeks or three weeks before we had to report to our respective cities," James continued. "That was extreme for me."
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In order to help players who are missing their families, the Phoenix Suns recently surprised their starters with a video introduction filmed by their loved ones, which proved to be a hit amongst the entire NBA.
The league, including NBA commissioner Adam Silver, has been praised for their handling of the NBA restart. Since inviting players to the Disney campus in July to live and play inside the locked-down bubble, not a single person has tested positive for coronavirus.