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Sport Lillard worried NBA players won't follow 'bubble' rules

04:06  02 july  2020
04:06  02 july  2020 Source:   reuters.com

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Blazers guard Damian Lillard says he has serious doubts about players strictly following all the protocols and rules for Orlando's " bubble ." The 22 teams that are part of the NBA restart will arrive in Orlando beginning on July 7 and will be tested, isolating for up to 48 hours, and then tested again.

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The NBA's ability to complete the season in its Walt Disney World Resort "bubble" depends on participants following the rules to keep everyone inside free from the coronavirus.

a basketball player during a game: Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard shoots against Oklahoma City Thunder center Kendrick Perkins in the second half of their NBA basketball game in Oklahoma City © Reuters/Bill Waugh Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard shoots against Oklahoma City Thunder center Kendrick Perkins in the second half of their NBA basketball game in Oklahoma City

Actually achieving that goal might not be easy, according to Damian Lillard.

The Portland Trail Blazers' All-Star guard said Wednesday regarding strict adherence to isolating protocols, "My confidence ain't great because you're telling me you're gonna have 22 teams full of players following all the rules? When we have 100 percent freedom, everybody don't follow all the rules.

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It's going to take some adjustments for players to follow the tremendous number of rules in Orlando.

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"I don't have much confidence, but hopefully it'll be handled to a point where we're not putting everybody at risk or in a dangerous position."

Players and staffers will be tested for COVID-19 upon their arrival at the ESPN Wide World of Sports complex near Orlando. Following a period of self-quarantine for 36 to 48 hours, they will be tested again. After that, there will be regular testing, and newcomers (including family members) won't be allowed into the "bubble" until after the first round of the playoffs -- more than a month after the players arrive in central Florida.

"The fact that we're going to be in a bubble, it kind of knocks it down and limits the chance of us being exposed to everybody else outside the bubble in Orlando," Lillard said. "I think it is a safer situation. But I don't think it's possible for them to protect us 100 percent. I think everybody's going there understanding that."

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Damian Lillard - Career stats, game logs, biographical info, awards, and achievements for the NBA and NCAA. 6/24 The Trail Blazers, who already had one open spot on their 15-man roster, will now have the opportunity to sign two players if they want to, since Trevor Ariza‘s decision to opt out of the

Lillard plans to keep to himself.

"I know there're going to (be) activities for us and all that stuff, but I mean, I'm gonna be chilling," he said. "I feel like there's still a possibility for something to spread within that bubble, just with so many people doing so many different things that we've got to follow to be safe, even though we're not exposed to the public.

"So for me, it's going to be: What time is practice, what time can I get in the weight room, what time can I get some shots up, what's the plan for game day. And then I'm gonna be in the room. I'm gonna have my PS3, my PS4, I'm gonna have my studio equipment, my mic, my laptop, I'm gonna have all my books. That's it, man. I'm gonna be in the room, chilling."

Lillard might not be at Disney World long unless the Blazers perform well in their eight remaining regular-season games. Ninth-place Portland (29-37) is 3 1/2 games behind the eighth-place Memphis Grizzlies in the race for the final Western Conference playoff berth.

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James wants to play with Lillard , according to The Ringer’s Kevin O’Connor, who recently reported that has been the case “since before LeBron even signed with the Lakers.” ESPN’s Zach Lowe also noted that James has a healthy respect for Lillard ’s game.

NBA commissioner Adam Silver said this week that the league is considering multiple scenarios. Lillard was speaking from home in an interview with broadcaster TNT's Ernie Johnson that was live Some, he says, are optimistic the season will resume, others are worried that the stoppage could

A ninth-place team that finishes within four games of an eighth-place team would get to compete in a play-in battle for that postseason place.

"It's basically an eight-game season, and we're starting off behind," Lillard said. "The only thing I asked for was the opportunity to make it, and we've been given that, so we're going to show up and do what we gotta do. Simple as that."

(Field Level Media)


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Adam Silver wearing a suit and tie: FILE - In this Oct. 8, 2019, file photo, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver speaks at a news conference before an NBA preseason basketball game between the Houston Rockets and the Toronto Raptors in Saitama, near Tokyo. It’s been over three months since the commissioners of major sports cancelled or postponed events because of the coronavirus. Enough time for us to grade them on how they’ve handled the virus so far. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, File)

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