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For Spurs' Popovich, NBA's Orlando 'bubble' is safer than Texas

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San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich, center, watches his players with assistant coaches Becky Hammon, right, and Tim Duncan, left, during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Brooklyn Nets Friday, March 6, 2020, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

The NBA's 2019-20 season is set to resume in late July at the "bubble" at Walt Disney World Resort, Orlando.

The NBA is implementing an exhaustive guide on how the players, staff, and coaches will remain safe against the coronavirus that is still impacting the state of Florida.

Despite the NBA's COVID-19 safety measures, it did weigh on San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich.

"It went through my mind," said Popovich during a video conference with reporters. "Is it safe? But I talked to Adam (Silver) and you find out pretty quickly what he and his staff of many have gone through to put this thing together."

The NBA mandates that everyone in the "bubble" be tested regularly, wear rings that can detect early symptoms of the virus, and teams be quarantined upon arrival to their respective hotels. The Spurs went through a 36-48 hour quarantine period when they entered the Yacht Club hotel in Orlando as well as be subjected to regular tests.

"There hasn't been a first 'together'," Popovich said. "Our first 'together' is later this afternoon."

Before leaving Texas for Florida, the team conducted a few player shoot-around sessions with full virus precautions implemented. They also left a state that is dealing with a tremendous surge in virus cases.

San Antonio recently saw another record day dealing with the pandemic.

Now inside the NBA's "bubble," Popovich (who at 71 years old is in the age range where many are more susceptible to the virus) admits he is better off where he is now.

"From an intellectual point of view and a medical point of view, I would have to say, not probably, but I am safer here, if this bubble works, than I would be in Texas for sure as you see what's going on there," Popovich said.

Did Popovich have reservations? Of course. Anyone would with the virus still an issue.

"I honestly do believe and it's not just being a loyal soldier of the NBA," said Popovich."I don't know where else you would be as safe as we are right now."

Said Popovich: "Since the decision was made to do this, to start the season again under these circumstances with all the precautions, what a great opportunity to make race an upfront, basically most important activity that happens on a social level while we are here."

Twitter: @JeffGSpursZone

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