Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Miami Heat President Pat Riley and General Manager Andy Elisburg will not be traveling with the team on Wednesday to the NBA’s planned resumption of the 2019-20 season in Disney World.
Both Heat executives will instead prioritize the NBA Draft and free agency, expected to take place promptly after the end of postseason play. Vice President of Basketball Operations, Adam Simon, will be traveling to Orlando in order to fill in the required “senior basketball executive” per team.
In addition to Riley and Elisburg, the two anonymous Heat players who tested positive for coronavirus will not be moving with the team to Orlando and plan to join the team after testing negative for COVID-19 twice, according to Five Reasons Sports Network. The pair of players intend to play in Miami’s eight “seeding” games, beginning with an August 1 contest against the Denver Nuggets.
Derrick Jones Jr., who tested positive for COVID-19 in late June, has been cleared to travel with the team on their bus trip.
Everyone involved in the leagues return will be mandated to quarantine in their hotel rooms at Disney’s ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Lake Buena Vista — Heat will be at the Gran Destino Tower — until each person brings back two negative tests for COVID-19 at least 24 hours apart from each other. Soon after, Miami will be allowed to start training camp and settle into what will be home for nearly two months, depending on how far they make it in the postseason.
The NBA mandated teams to submit a list of 37 people part of each teams travel party. That list has the opportunity to expand following round one of the playoffs. 35 of the members are part of the Heat’s players and staff, while the other two will represent Miami’s media relations staff and social media staff.
Micky Arison, along with the rest of the NBA owners, will be allowed to attend games despite not staying in the Disney bubble. He’ll be required to use a different entrance and exit than others and remain 25 feet away from the court and players/coaches while wearing a mask at all times.
Along with the 17 players eventually heading to Orlando, the following coaches will take part in the Heat’s return: head coach Erik Spoelstra and assistants Malik Allen, Dan Craig, Chris Quinn, Anthony Carter, and shooting coach Rob Fodor.
Miami will be bringing six members of their training staff: head athletic trainer Jay Sabol, assistant trainers Wes Brown, Brandon Gilliam and Armando Rivas, strength coach Eric Foran, and neuromuscular therapist Vinny Aquilino. In addition, Director of Basketball Administration Scott Gurka, Vice President of Basketball Security David Holcombe, Equipment Manager Rob Pimental, and video coordinators Eric Glass and Dan Bisaccio will also travel to the bubble.
As for Miami’s television crew, featuring play-by-play announcer Eric Reid, television color analyst John Crotty, radio play-by-play announcer Mike Inglis, television studio and radio analyst Ruth Riley Hunter, television studio analyst and radio analyst Ron Rothstein, television host and courtside reporter Jason Jackson and Spanish radio announcer Jose Paneda are now part of Miami’s list and are expected to announce their games at American AirlinesArena, the Miami Herald reports.