Hollins: I Can "Absolutely" See The NBA Using A Bubble In 2020-21

Former NBA big man Ryan Hollins explains why a bubble may be the league's only option next season

Tiki and Tierney
July 29, 2020 - 6:21 pm
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On Tuesday, NBA Players Association Executive Director Michele Roberts told CBS Sports Radio’s Zach Gelb that the league may need to revert to a bubble for the 2020-21 season, especially given its success thus far.

Former NBA big man and current CBS Sports NBA analyst Ryan Hollins is in complete agreement.

“I can absolutely see it,” Hollins told Tiki & Tierney, “and the one reason that I can see it is there’s no vaccine. If you don’t have a vaccine, we’re clearly not disciplined enough to go COVID-free. There’s too much going on in America and other places to get rid of COVID completely by actually social distancing. With no vaccine, it’s just the honest to God’s truth.”

Hollins said that Roberts did an “excellent job” of bringing up next season’s bubble now.

“She wants to help desensitize people to the thought of them not being able to go to NBA games,” he said. “I think this is the honest to God’s truth. Hats off to the NBA for doing it.”

Hollins, who played for nine NBA teams, does not think players would be able to live in a bubble for 82 games – or at least not 82 games straight.

“One thing I may recommend just to keep the players’ sanity together is that you possibly play the NBA season in four chunks,” Hollins said. “Rather than just one extended All-Star break, you give them two or so months in the bubble, you let them go home and train, let them see the family, and then come back to the bubble, test out well, and then put it in four chunks, four mini-seasons. Maybe you shorten the number of games so we can actually have an NBA season. The one thing you can’t do is not have a season.”

If the NBA plays in fan-less venues in 2020-21, is it possible that fans wouldn’t attend games in 2021-22 even if it were safe to do so? Would they simply get used to watching games at home and not go to arenas?

“I can’t see that day coming,” Hollins said. “You can speak to a number of fans, and they would do anything . . . to get in that NBA bubble and go watch a game.”