18-team NBA G League set for bubble tournament in February | Inquirer Sports
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18-team NBA G League set for bubble tournament in February

By: - Reporter / @BLozadaINQ
/ 05:49 PM January 09, 2021

MANILA, Philippines—Almost four months since the Los Angeles Lakers left the bubble as the 2020 NBA Champions, it’s now the G League’s turn to make use of ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex for its 2021 season.

A total of 18 teams including the G League Ignite squad will congregate at Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida in February with the top eight squads advancing to a single-elimination playoff.

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“We worked closely with our teams, the Basketball Players Union, and public health experts to develop a structure that allows our teams to gather at a single site and safely play,” said NBA G League President Shareef Abdur-Rahim in a statement.

“We are thrilled to get back to basketball and to fulfill our mission as a critical resource for the NBA in developing players, coaches, referees, athletic trainers and front-office staff.”

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Ignite—which is comprised of preps-to-pros stars like Jalen Green, Jonathan Kuminga, Daishen Nix, and Kai Sotto—is the only team in the league that isn’t affiliated with an NBA franchise.

The 17 teams with NBA affiliations, meanwhile, are Agua Caliente Clippers (LA Clippers), Austin Spurs (San Antonio Spurs), Canton Charge (Cleveland Cavaliers), Delaware Blue Coats (Philadelphia 76ers), Erie BayHawks (New Orleans Pelicans), Fort Wayne Mad Ants (Indiana Pacers), Greensboro Swarm (Charlotte Hornets), Iowa Wolves (Minnesota Timberwolves), Lakeland Magic (Orlando Magic), Long Island Nets (Brooklyn Nets), Memphis Hustle (Memphis Grizzlies), Oklahoma City Blue (Oklahoma City Thunder), Raptors 905 (Toronto Raptors), Rio Grande Valley Vipers (Houston Rockets), Salt Lake City Stars (Utah Jazz), Santa Cruz Warriors (Golden State Warriors), and Westchester Knicks (New York Knicks).

“Our Cast Members are eager to work with the NBA family again and welcome in the next round of talented basketball players to compete at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex,” said Faron Kelley, vice president of Disney Sports. “Most importantly, Disney and the NBA G League will continue our shared focus on the necessary safety protocols for the well-being of the players, coaches, staff and everyone supporting this event.”

Just like what the NBA did with its bubble, all those living inside the complex will be subjected to tight COVID-19 protocols.

Social distancing, mask wearing, hand washing, and COVID-19 testing will be put to a premium inside the G League campus to curb the effects of the virus—a feat that the NBA successfully completed.

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