Daryl Morey Confident in NBA's Bubble Plan Amid COVID-19 Crisis
NBA teams are arriving in Orlando this week ahead of the NBA's return to play on July 30, but there is shortage of anxiety regarding the league's bubble at the ESPN Wide World of Sports complex.
The tally of players opting out of the bubble grows by the day, and a wave of positive tests in Orlando is certainly not out of the question. Yet as the Rockets prepare for to depart for Orlando on Thursday, general manager Daryl Morey is confident in the NBA's quarantine plan. If protocols are followed, Morey believes the resumption of the season will go smoothly.
"The NBA has put a good plan together," Morey told the media in a Zoom call on Monday. "We’re following every part of that protocol. we’re going to be on the plane to Orlando, Thursday after all the final days of testing and following those protocols. And we’re excited to get back.”
Morey said he will travel with the Rockets to Orlando. Houston had just one player opt-out of the NBA's restart, as veteran forward Thabo Sefolosha announced his decision to sit out on July 1. Houston signed familiar face Luc Mbah a Moute following Sefolosha's decision. Mbah a Moute played one season for the Rockets in 2017-18, averaging 7.5 points and 25.6 rebounds per game.
Morey noted his support for Sefolosha's decision on Monday.
"I think we all are trying to make the smartest choice we can make," Morey said. "And that’s one reason I liked the NBA plan. Everyone going will have had a personal choice in the matter.”
The Rockets have reached the playoffs in 10 of Morey's 13 years as the team's general manager. They reached the Western Conference finals in 2015 and 2018, but the franchise is still seeking its Finals appearance since 1995.
Houston currently sits No. 6 in the West at 40–24. James Harden and Co. will resume the regular season on July 31 in a matchup against the Mavericks. Tip-off is slated for 8 p.m. CT.