LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – There’s no bench. The courtside broadcasters will not be courtside. And the stat crew will be doing their work inside what loosely can be described as an oversized hockey penalty box.
The NBA comes back Wednesday with a very different look.
The league’s marketing motto for the restart of the season at Walt Disney World is “Whole New Game,” and in many respects, that’s very true. The arenas that will be used for the exhibitions, the seeding games that start July 30 and then the playoffs that are scheduled for mid-August through mid-October set up much differently than usual — all with safety during a pandemic very much in mind.
Los Angeles Clippers coach Doc Rivers said league officials have been great, “they really have been. They’ve done everything right as far as I’m concerned.
“I mean, when you think that we’re running a village for the first time, the league is doing pretty well in city management.”
The court dimensions, of course, are unchanged.
Everything else about an NBA game setup is new.
Seating in the bench areas will be assigned, with folding chairs set up on three rows instead of the customary two and spaced out several feet from one another — instead of players sitting shoulder-to-shoulder as they have in the past. And across the center stripe, the words “Black Lives Matter" are painted onto the surface.