The 22 teams participating in the NBA campaign restart gathered on Friday for the first time at the Disney complex.
However, none of the clubs came with their usual entourage to the Orlando, Florida area.
Leaving families behind for several weeks during a pandemic – or perhaps up to three months, depending on how far they advance in the playoffs – isn’t the only difficulty the teams face in this resumption of the tournament.
Due to space limitations at Disney, almost at the isolation bubble level, the clubs were forced to reduce their official travel retinues to 37 elements, including players, so many collaborators who ordinarily accompany them will not do so this time.
“We are not in a position to carry everyone and that sucks because of the amount of work they do every day,” said Boston coach Brad Stevens. “We have tried to identify how to be as efficient as possible with people who can also be excellent from a distance. I think that is one of the things that we have had to identify. In some cases, the excellence of these people at a distance may have hurt their opportunity to travel from the beginning. ”
As the isolation population declines with the elimination of six teams before the postseason and eight in the first round of the playoffs, it is anticipated that clubs will be allowed to bring in more staff.
Until then, however, as the teams play their games at Disney, the rest of the staff has a lot of work to do in their city’s markets and stadiums. Some clubs left player development coaches behind, some even assistant coaches, and all traveled with only a press officer and a team manager.
Under normal circumstances, some clubs travel with up to three people to attend the press and two to take over the team’s props.
“It’s difficult,” said Orlando President of Basketball Operations Jeff Weltman. “We kind of wanted to shy away from that language that swarmed around, from the concept of essential and non-essential (personal). It’s not about that. This is a narrowly defined circumstance and requires some ability to deal with it. “
Most of the teams brought their entire 17-player roster, a number to be subtracted from the 37-person roster. That leaves 20 places for coaches, assistants, player development staff, video, security, strengthening and conditioning, sports training, media attention and content creators.
Miami coach Erik Spoelstra said the process of defining who was going and who was not brutal.
“We have already had a model of shared responsibilities among all,” Spoelstra noted.