Fauci expresses support for NBA's restart plan, predicts league will be 'quite successful'

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease, expressed support Sunday the NBA’s plan to restart the season with 22 teams.

The NBA plans to play again in Orlando at the Walt Disney World Resort. Fauci told Stadium that he predicts the NBA would be “quite successful.”

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“I think they might very well be quite successful with it,” Fauci said. “They really wanted to make sure that the safety of the players was paramount.”

The 22 teams would play eight regular-season games with everyone involved in the games being tested for the virus and quarantined. The playoffs would extend into October.

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“I actually have looked at that plan. ... What they are really trying to do is to create a situation where it is as safe as it possibly could be for the players by creating this bubble,” Fauci added. “Essentially testing everybody, make sure that you start with a baseline of everybody being negative and trying to make sure that there is no influx into that cohort of individuals and do a tournament-type play.”

The NBA is still working on completing the health and safety protocols that will become the rulebook for the restart, according to the Associated Press. Disney workers will reportedly be subjected to a long list of protocols, including wearing a mask constantly and other protective equipment.

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Arrivals at the Disney campus begin July 7-9, July 9-29 is training camp with health screenings and July 21 or 22 would begin intersquad scrimmages. Games will begin July 30. Play-in games will begin Aug. 15-16 and the playoffs begin Aug. 17. The NBA Finals will begin Sept. 30-Oct. 13.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.