As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to wreak havoc throughout the US, schedules for sporting events remain on a tentative basis for the most part, much of which you can see covered at Sports Intel.  Now, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver has announced that the G-League games will be played in a bubble similar to that the NBA had last season in Orlando.  The decision has been met with mix responses, with some teams opting out at once and others still considering their options.  The Boston Celtics have already made their decision. 

No Celtics In The G-League

The NBA G-League is the NBA’s official minor league basketball organization.  The league was known as the National Basketball Development League from 2001 to 2005, and the NBA Development League from 2005 until 2017, when it simply became the G League.  

A report by Jared Weiss of the Athletic says that the Boston Celtics are opting out of the proposed NBA G-League bubble for the 2020-21 season.  This probably means that the Maine Red Claws, the Celtics G-League affiliate, may not be playing at all during the 2020-21 season.  To date, only Boston Celtics have actually said no to the bubble plan; however, if many more teams decide to follow suit, then obviously the whole plan would be in jeopardy.

Once again, the COVID-19 crisis is to blame for this rather radical step, which is so far not too popular with the players and coaches of the G-League teams.  What the NBA has in mind is a month long stay in Atlanta to play 12 basketball games, but in a bubble like in Orlando last season. 

Sep 27, 2020; Lake Buena Vista, Florida, USA; Boston Celtics forward Gordon Hayward (20) drives around a pick set by center Daniel Theis (27) defended by Miami Heat guard Tyler Herro (14) during the first half in game six of the Eastern Conference Finals of the 2020 NBA Playoffs at AdventHealth Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Only A G-League Idea Right Now

The proposal is still in the planning stages at this point and nothing is set in stone.  The idea is that the teams would live and practice and play their games on a campus environment.  There would be a 12-game regular season and then the playoffs, all taking place inside the campus bubble.

What this will mean to two-way players who spend part of the season with the NBA team and part of the season with the G-League team is still not clear.  If their NBA team opts out of the Atlanta bubble games, the two-way guys should be able to play the entire G-League 12-game regular season and the playoffs.

The Boston Celtics have a couple of two-way players in Tacko Fall and Tremont Waters and, because the rules on how often a two-way player can be with their NBA team have been significantly relaxed, the Celtics are going to treat Fall and Waters as an extension to the standard 15-man roster, which is something already being discussed by the league, anyway.

Two-way Players To Get More Action

This year, two-way players can play in up to 50 games with their NBA teams. Also, they can be there and actively take part in all practices throughout the season.  Guys like Tacko Fall and Tremont Waters are likely to be able to spend the entire season with their NBA teams, in the case the Celtics.  

Fall and Waters are probably ecstatic about this turn of events.  They get to spend the entire season with the big boys and they will be given every opportunity to prove themselves on the big stage.  They will possibly not have to worry any more about going back down to the G-League, either.  

Last year, Boston had several of their younger players put in significant time with the Red Claws in Maine. Due to injuries on the roster and the coronavirus, it is unlikely that the Celtics will be sending players down to the G-League for any significant periods of time.  It remains to be seen if any more NBA teams will opt out of the Atlanta bubble plan, or if the league actually adopts it.