Deandre Ayton trusts NBA to keep Suns safe from COVID-19 in Orlando

Jul 2, 2020, 6:11 PM
A sign at the entrance to ESPN's Wide World of Sports at Walt Disney World is seen Wednesday, June ...

A sign at the entrance to ESPN's Wide World of Sports at Walt Disney World is seen Wednesday, June 3, 2020, in Kissimmee, Fla. The NBA has told the National Basketball Players Association that it will present a 22-team plan for restarting the season at Disney. (AP Photo/John Raoux)

(AP Photo/John Raoux)

There is an undeniable level of risk and unpredictability for the National Basketball Association and its restart of the 2019-20 season from Walt Disney World in Orlando during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The league is doing as much as possible to limit that with countless precautions and rules in place for the 22 teams at the bubble in order to keep everyone safe so the season can be finished.

Ultimately, the next few weeks are huge for commissioner Adam Silver to maintain the level of confidence he has from his players and keeping them onboard.

Phoenix Suns center Deandre Ayton is one who believes in Silver’s plan and the league’s ability to execute it.

“I trust the league,” he said Thursday.

“It is dangerous. It is a thing. I think if we just follow the rules correctly, we will be good.”

Mandatory testing has already been underway for over a week, catching everyone who tests positive and quarantining them until they are clear, hopefully snuffing out any potential spread of the virus.

Once everyone arrives in Orlando the week of July 6, testing will continue throughout the stay, again with the hope that within a week they’ve managed to block off any other positive tests that got through before teams traveled.

A period of self-isolation is imposed on everyone during their free time in Orlando up until July 21, when players and staff can eat meals together and hang out in neutral spaces, all with certain social distancing guidelines in place. Yes, this includes the likes of replacing a deck of cards every time it is used and limitations to ping pong.

Those in attendance aren’t necessarily banned from leaving the premises, but if they do, they enter a rigorous testing phase and a self-quarantine period of 10-14 days.

The obvious hesitation here is all of these people following the rules. Ayton, though, is not concerned about his team doing so.

“Everybody else can break the rules,” he said. “We’re good. We will wear our masks and gloves and rings.”

Ayton’s not the type to go stir-crazy and get out of his room anyway.

“I don’t really have much interest in this world, or to even think outside of Disney World,” he said. “I’m going to have my video game, and I’m gonna have my phone and be around my teammates.

“So, I would love to see my family but I’ve been around long enough in quarantine — I [am thinking differently]. I’m ready. Ready to play basketball.”

Empire of the Suns

Phoenix Suns' Chris Paul, left, and Devin Booker (1) shake hands following their NBA basketball gam...
Kellan Olson

Phoenix Suns keep winning formula going through Booker, Paul vs. Jazz

The Phoenix Suns can beat you in a whole lot of ways and lately it's been through strong performances from their All-Stars.
1 day ago
Owner Robert Sarver and general manager James Jones of the Phoenix Suns look on during the NBA pres...
Kellan Olson

James Jones’ expert execution as GM of Suns earns him well-deserved extension

Phoenix Suns general manager James Jones has transformed the organization and that made him more than worthy of a contract extension.
3 days ago
Phoenix Suns guard Chris Paul (3) looks to pass as Utah Jazz guard Trent Forrest (3) defends during...
Kellan Olson

Chris Paul, Devin Booker lead Suns past shorthanded Jazz

The Suns do not want to get into the habit of needing heroics from Devin Booker and Chris Paul to win them games but they did Monday.
3 days ago
Devin Booker #1 of the Phoenix Suns drives the ball past Mike Conley #10 of the Utah Jazz during th...
Kellan Olson

Phoenix Suns meet Utah Jazz for 1st time with back-to-back matchups

Even with injuries on both sides, the first matchups between the Phoenix Suns and Utah Jazz will provide high-level basketball.
4 days ago
Jae Crowder #99 of the Phoenix Suns reacts to an injury during the second half of the NBA game agai...
Kellan Olson

Suns’ win against depleted Pacers overshadowed by injuries for Phoenix

The Phoenix Suns got a win on Saturday night but what was first on everyone's minds was the statuses of Jae Crowder and Cam Payne.
6 days ago
Dallas Mavericks forward Dorian Finney-Smith, left, battles Phoenix Suns forward Jae Crowder (99) f...
Kellan Olson

Phoenix Suns swarm Mavericks defensively to improve NBA-best record

The Suns are in a position few teams in franchise history have ever been, atop the NBA standings and looking the part of title favorites.
8 days ago
Deandre Ayton trusts NBA to keep Suns safe from COVID-19 in Orlando