Shortly after the NBA settled on a Disney Resort bubble to resume the 2019-20 season, they started planning something very strange: A second bubble.
The plan was simple. The eight teams that hadn’t been invited to Florida — the “Delete Eight,” if you will — would convene in a second bubble. They would practice, train, and play some Summer League-style scrimmages. It would, in theory, give them a chance to get some of the growth and development that the 22 teams still playing were afforded by the initial bubble.
For the Golden State Warriors, that mostly meant further development time for the young players. It seems highly unlikely that stars like Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green would have attended, as they’d be better suited just getting rest ahead of the 2020-21 season.
But now it seems like there won’t be an option either way. According to a report by Shams Charania and Sam Amick of The Athletic, the second bubble appears to have popped:
“There’s nothing happening,” one GM told The Athletic after a Tuesday call between the eight GMs and league officials. “It’s a shame. It’s a huge detriment to these eight franchises that were left behind.”
This doesn’t really seem like a bad thing. The second bubble wouldn’t generate any money, and it wasn’t needed to conclude the season or any narratives. Sending another group of people — who would all need to travel — into a bubble just felt like being irresponsible for no good reason.
Would it have helped those eight teams? Sure. But honestly, who cares? The world is getting flipped upside-down by the pandemic, and if that results in a teensy-tiny hit to competitive balance for one year in a sports league, then big freaking whoop.
The Warriors will be just fine, and so too will the Atlanta Hawks, Charlotte Hornets, Chicago Bulls, Cleveland Cavaliers, Detroit Pistons, Minnesota Timberwolves, and New York Knicks (well ... maybe not the Knicks, but a bubble wasn’t fixing that).
This is probably for the best.