The NBA and Mickey Mouse are moving closer to a July marriage.
The league on Saturday confirmed a report from earlier this week that Disney World is on track to become the sole site for the NBA’s fan-less resumption to the season, likely in late July.
The venue would be the ESPN’s Wide World of Sports complex that houses several courts inside the Milkhouse Gym, which was a prior site of the NBA Draft Combine.
NBA spokesman Mike Bass said in a statement, “The NBA, in conjunction with the National Basketball Players Association, is engaged in exploratory conversations with The Walt Disney Company about restarting the 2019-20 NBA season in late July at Disney’s ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Florida as a single site for an NBA campus for games, practices and housing.
“Our priority continues to be the health and safety of all involved, and we are working with public health experts and government officials on a comprehensive set of guidelines to ensure that appropriate medical protocols and protections are in place.”
The other proposal was having two sites: Orlando for the Eastern Conference and Las Vegas for the Western Conference. But earlier this week, The Athletic reported Orlando solo site idea had become the heavy favorite.
The Orlando area has been one of the least effected COVID-19 areas in Florida. And the Disney grounds host a plethora of resorts, which includes over 20,000 hotel rooms, according to Yahoo. Part of the team’s official three-week training camps would also be staged in Orlando in late June/early July.
However, some liked the idea of two venues.
“I don’t just like it, I love it,” ESPN’s Jalen Rose said Friday on “First Take.” “I really love the two locations.”
The question is whether the Knicks will make it to Orlando. Some proposals have the NBA bringing back just 16 playoff teams or 22 teams for a play-in tournament.
When the season shut down on March 11 due to the coronavirus, the Knicks were in 12th place in the East and would only make the cut if the NBA decides on a play-in event that invites 24 teams, including 12 from each conference.
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