The NBA is taking proactive to the next level with smart technology for the 2020 season. It has had time to come up with a strategy to ensure that players are as safe as possible and can still enjoy the sport, which has led them to provide a great solution in an unlikely place: wearable technology. The league released a memo that spans over 100 pages, outlining a detailed plan to allow the games to continue and still keep players, coaches, and support staff safe.
Rather than canceling the season, they came up with a novel idea for a limited season in a single location to minimize risk.
The NBA decided to start the season in Orlando, where 22 teams will play eight games to seed them and create the playoff teams. The idea is to put the players in a “bubble” and allow them to play at the Disney Wide World of Sports complex. This is going to be an option for players, and all of them are being well-informed of the plan and the process before they decide.
Since basketball is typically such an intimate sport, players must maintain their distance. The wearable rings that are being offered to players will provide them with an ongoing wellness assessment so that they know they are safe to play. It will also feature an alarm to notify them when they’ve gotten within six feet of another person so that they can move back and maintain social distancing guidelines.
In addition to these rings, players will also be issued MagicBands, which are like what guests wear when they visit the Walt Disney World family of resorts. These bands will allow players to have access to their hotel room without a key, check in at security points, and even get through various coronavirus screenings. The bands may even help the league with contact tracing in the event of exposure or someone being diagnosed with coronavirus.
Only Playing is Optional
The biggest takeaway here is the safety—players can opt out of playing in this limited season, but if they do play, they cannot opt out of the guidelines and safety requirements put in place. This includes all health checks, screenings, and other required monitoring to keep everyone safe. It’s not ideal, by any means, but it’s better than nothing for many.