By Ty Anderson, 985TheSportsHub.com
The 2020 NBA champion won't have to go far to celebrate their title this summer, as Orlando's Disney World has emerged as the favorite to host an NBA restart, according to The Athletic.
"Orlando is on track to win its bid so long as final details regarding testing and hotel use are resolved," the report, compiled by Shams Charania and Sam Amick, noted. "For the NBA, Orlando/Disney World’s controllability as a playing site — with a private property having the necessary complexes, hotels and amenities — has been the most appealing of all the possibilities all along."
While the report noted that nothing's final, it did mention that Orlando has gained 'clear momentum' over Las Vegas, which was the first city linked to the NBA as a potential summertime hub.
Silver outlined the main points of a potential return to play on a conference call with player reps earlier this month, and it was believed that a decision on the fate of the 2019-20 season would come two to four weeks after that. All signs point to the NBA attempting a return (no shock there, as they'd reportedly lose $900 million in TV revenue alone if they didn't return), and their talks with Disney would clearly point towards the NBA's belief that they can pull this off later this summer.
The move to Orlando is clearly about more than just the complexes and hotels The House of Mouse can offer, however, as Disney has an obvious relationship with the NBA via ESPN. And Disney's Bob Iger has reportedly remained in contact with NBA commissioner Adam Silver throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, and even took part in a Board of Governors meeting in April, according to The Athletic.
If there's a location to pull this off, too, it's Florida. One of the more relaxed states throughout this entire fiasco, Florida has reopened in recent days, and this report comes the same day that Disney Springs began to partially reopen.
The NBA, which was the first North American professional sports league to suspend their season, has been on the shelf since Rudy Gobert's positive test prior to a Jazz-Thunder game on Mar. 11.
Ty Anderson is a writer and columnist for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Yell at him on Twitter: @_TyAnderson.