Lest you thought you wouldn’t have to watch the Knicks until whenever next season starts, the NBA is reportedly making progress on plans to enable the eight non-bubble teams to play some basketball.
That’s right, according to this report from the Charlotte Observer, the league is still considering a second bubble of sorts for the b-squads (the Knicks, Atlanta Hawks, Charlotte Hornets, Chicago Bulls, Cleveland Cavaliers, Detroit Pistons, Golden State Warriors and Minnesota Timberwolves). Apparently, an announcement on Bubble 2: The Second Bubble, could come as soon as next week.
It doesn’t sound quite as bubbly as Disney World, however.
The NBA has progressed on a plan for the eight teams not in the season restart to practice and possibly hold group workouts next month, three sources with direct knowledge of the league’s discussions told the Observer.
This would allow the Charlotte Hornets and seven other teams not at Disney’s campus dramatically more activity than currently allowed. The proposal under discussion — which has not yet been approved by the league or the players union — would include:
▪ A week of practice at individual teams’ home facilities, starting the second week of August.
▪ Possibly two weeks of group workouts hosted by two teams not in the restart. Those cities have not yet been finalized. Teams traveling would likely be contingent on the players union approving teams scrimmaging each other.
The news comes about a month after talk of a second bubble in Chicago gained some steam but quickly faded. The Knicks supposedly weren’t pumped about the potential Chicago bubble, with Jonathan Macri writing for Sports Illustrated earlier this month that New York and at least one other team could choose to opt out. According to Sam Amick of The Athletic, the league was mulling whether to allow the Knicks to fill out their bubble roster with players from the G League.
Unless there are significant changes, it looks like the losers bubble would simply allow teams to practice and scrimmage each other. It’s not clear whether there’s any intention to turn the second bubble into a tournament of some kind. It might just be meant to give the non-bubble teams an opportunity to play some basketball instead of sitting on their hands until next season, which may be as much as nine months away.
Alan Hahn of ESPN Radio and MSG Network believes the Knicks would benefit from a second bubble, and his point of view certainly makes some sense. The Knicks weren’t very cohesive this season, most of their primary players are quite young, and the team has a new coach, so being able to get some reps together could be helpful.
Let's get this DONE. Teams with young players (Hornets, Hawks, #Knicks Knicks, Bulls etc.) desperately need something like this -- summer-league style -- to get their guys in the gym and into some competitive games. Can't have them sit 9 months without any game action. #NBA https://t.co/m7ZWwRny8M— Alan Hahn (@alanhahn) July 25, 2020
Then again, frankly, some time off from the Knicks has probably been good for our collective mental health.