The corresponding restart of O’Dowd and the NBA

How can Basketball come back amidst the height of the pandemic?

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The Raptor’s arena design during the NBA bubble this summer

Max Kim, Contributer

With the NBA bubble being in the rearview mirror and now in the direction of starting up the new season, the new format of the NBA will be an intriguing experiment. With fans possibly being permitted in arenas, much less closed arenas with a lack of flowing air, the attempt of keeping cases to a minimum will be a polarizing topic. The Toronto Raptors for one are relocating to Florida, with the issues of playing in another country during a global pandemic leading to the cause. The restrictions Canada imposes with COVID lead to the team relocating to Tampa. “Ultimately, the current public health situation facing Canadians, combined with the urgent need to determine where we will play means that we will begin our 2020-21 season in Tampa, Florida,” said Raptors general manager Masai Ujiri during a press conference. 

With last season having restarted in Orlando, on the Disneyland Campus, players this year will be allowed to see their families daily, rather than going weeks on end without being able to interact in-person with them. The NBA is known for premium planning and safety as opposed to other sports leagues, and Bishop O’Dowd could take note of how the league managed to go 3 months without a single bubble case. With daily COVID testing and tracking likely implemented to utilize contact tracing, the NBA’s new protocol could be something O’Dowd should look into. 

With the Bay Area’s cases going up, the O’Dowd’s return to campus is sure to be a controversial topic between students and parents. A worry of many students stems from the lack of responsibility present in certain groups, whether clustering or continuing to see large amounts of people. This puts a majority of the population at risk, especially if certain students go to another school or are in a separate part of the restart. Many students are planning to stay at home despite the assurances that the campus would be safe due to the rising cases and likely increased exposure due to the upcoming holiday season. 

An idea for O’Dowd to get more students involved and back on campus for a financial and enjoyable learning experience would require frequent testing of students to make sure that students wouldn’t be infecting others. Another proposal would reduce the number of students on campus a day, which could be as high as 600 students with the last name first letter being A-K or L-Z. With students attempting to stay safe and bunkered down while waiting for the potential vaccine release this upcoming year, a safer way to reopen schools would be certainly desirable and O’Dowd could take some ideas from arguably the best-run league in current sports. Here’s to a safe return for both the NBA and O’Dowd this winter!