Lakers’ Jared Dudley Shares Details on NBA Return Amidst Coronavirus Pandemic

Dudley began by piggy-backing off of an earlier report by The Athletic, stating that Disney World in Orlando, Florida has become the frontrunner as the host site for the return of the NBA season.

Both Orlando and Las Vegas have been mentioned before, but Dudley added that Houston, and even Hawaii have been named as serious contenders to host the NBA recently, but said he believes it’s going to be Orlando when it’s all said and done.

“Orlando makes perfect sense because of Disney,” said Dudley. Disney owns ABC and ESPN, both broadcast partners with the NBA.

NBC LA reached out to sources with knowledge of the discussions, and they confirmed that Disney World is the frontrunner and that a deal is “close, if not imminent.” During the conference call with Dudley, he said that players would need at least six weeks of training and practicing to ramp up before the season resumes, and mentioned a start date of mid-June for training camp 2.0 to begin, and mid-July for the season to resume. Multiple sources confirmed both of those dates and scenarios as well.

Dudley said that he’s 90 percent confident that the NBA season will resume, and stated that the only reason he’s not 100 percent is because the coronavirus itself could change any current plans and scenarios rather quickly.

Dudley also cleared up a misconception that has been rumored when it comes to the one-site “bubble” scenario. Regardless of which site hosts the NBA, the original assumption would be that players would have to leave their families and quarantine at one location for multiple months in order to be able to resume play.

Dudley said that’s not true. Not only did he say players would be allowed to bring their families to Disney World in Orlando, he added that players would be able to come and go as they please.

When asked if he thought all 30 teams would have to return to Orlando to finish the season, or if the league would jump straight to the playoffs, with or without play-in games, Dudley said he’s heard rumors of all those scenarios, but ultimately believed the league would go straight to the playoffs with each round being the traditional seven-game series.