The NBA's bubble experiment inside Disney World is proving to be a success so far, with zero positive COVID-19 tests since the initial arrival and quarantine period. The league put an immense amount of time and effort into creating their rules and regulations for the bubble, and the hard work is paying off.
They're going to have to remain diligent to keep everyone safe, however, especially now that the real games are underway. And it hasn't taken long for an obstacle to arise. An unnamed Sacramento Kings player who returned an inconclusive test earlier this week is expected to be cleared to play in the team's first game against the San Antonio Spurs on Friday night, according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski and Marc Spears.
The Sacramento Kings had to quarantine a player for two days after an inconclusive coronavirus test result on Wednesday, but successive negative results on Thursday and Friday are expected to allow for his availability against the Spurs on Friday night, sources told ESPN.
Inconclusive tests -- or "false positives" -- require an individual to register two consecutive negative tests in the next 48 hours for clearance, according to league protocols. The process of clearing players from these inconclusive tests is a significant concern for teams in the Orlando bubble that worry that this scenario could cause a key player -- or players -- to be lost for a game or more in seeding or playoff games.
False positives were a fear for teams once the real games began, as the testing process has proved not to be infallible. While the goal is to keep everyone safe, there's a lot at stake in Orlando, and it would be a big blow if a team had to lose a key player for a game or games because of a bad test. Even though this scenario is expected to be rare, the league decided earlier this month to add an antibody test to the procedure for cases like this.
The Kings have had at least four players test positive for COVID-19 over the past few months, including Jabari Parker, Buddy Hield, Alex Len and Harrison Barnes. It's unclear if this unnamed player was one of those four. Sacramento is 28-36 heading into the restart, which has it 3 1/2 games behind the Memphis Grizzlies for the eighth seed. They'll need to remain within four games by the end of the eight seeding games in order to qualify for the play-in tournament.