NBA

This Date in NBA History (July 30): NBA restarts 2019-20 season in Orlando bubble

#Bubble
(NBA Getty Images)

On July 30, 2020, the 2019-20 NBA season resumed after a near five month hiatus due to the global coronvirus pandemic.

The season was suspended indefinitely on March 11 following a positive COVID-19 test, with the league pivoting to a bubble at Walt Disney World Resot in Orlando, Florida, creating a safe environment for players to continue with the season, without fans in attendance.

With the season interrupted, the league scheduled eight seeding games to complete the 2019-20 regular season for teams that were in a playoff seed or within six games of a playoff spot at the time of the hiatus, inviting 22 of the 30 teams to the bubble to complete the season.

The NBA implemented rigourous testing protocols and quarantining for players, coaches and staff, getting things underway with three exhibition games for each team, resuming the season with double-header with the Utah Jazz defeating the New Orleans Pelicans and the Los Angeles Lakers defeating the Los Angeles Clippers.

The playoffs soon followed, featuring a string of exciting performances, including Jamal Murray's battle with Donovan Mitchell, Luka Doncic's game-wining displays in his first postseason appearance and upset second round exits for the Milwauee Bucks and LA Clippers.

The bubble also became in important vehicle for social justice in 2020, with NBA players shedding a light on racial injustice in the United States, wearing social justice messages on the back of their jerseys.

On August 26, following the police shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin, the Milwaukee Bucks refused to take the court for Game 5 of their series against the Orlando Magic, leading to three days of games being postponed as players used their platform to protest police bruality, sparking action across other sporting leagues including the WNBA and MLB.

The season concluded on October 12 with the Los Angeles Lakers defeating the Miami Heat in six games in the NBA Finals, bringing down the curtain on the most unique NBA season in league history.

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