The NBA has come up with “timeout chairs” as part of its effort to maintain social distancing whenever possible amid the league’s restart, which is taking place after a four-month hiatus because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to Shams Charania on Tuesday, NBA players and coaches must practice social distancing rules during timeouts using movable chairs.
He provided the details in a tweet: “Sources: The NBA has informed teams that they are installing “Timeout Chairs” during games: Movable chairs to court so players and coaches can huddle, but players must stand/sit around chairs apart from bench. Chairs cleaned by team staff at end of each timeout.”
This is the latest protocol that the NBA has introduced in the Orlando bubble. Reports reveal that the hotel where the players are staying at is sanitized every day.
The players, too, get tested for the coronavirus every day. During scrimmages, players are also seated several feet apart. Trainers and coaches, meanwhile, are donning masks.
Twenty-two of the league’s 30 teams are in Walt Disney World near Orlando, Florida, for the restart, which will feature three scrimmage games per team before the regular season resumes on July 30.
The scrimmage matchups will begin Wednesday at 3 p.m. ET when the Orlando Magic and Los Angeles Clippers open the slate, so we’ll see the timeout chairs in action with the game’
The 22 NBA teams in Florida will each be playing eight regular-season games in addition to three scrimmages apiece. The regular season will end on August 14 and give way to a standard 16-team playoff starting on August 17.
The postseason is scheduled to run as late as October 13, when Game 7 of the NBA Finals (if necessary) would take place.
The NBA is splitting its regular-season games between three facilities on the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Disney World: The Arena, HP Field House and VISA Athletic Center.