As the Philadelphia 76ers and the rest of the NBA continue to navigate their season in the safest way possible in the middle of a global pandemic, there are some areas that are loosening up their restrictions as everybody continues to move forward.
For example, the state of Florida has been infamous for its role throughout this whole process as they have not implemented many restrictions. The state has been open for the most part and they recently lifted their restrictions for the entire state.
With the Sixers visiting the Orlando Magic on New Year’s Eve, they will be playing in front of 4,000 fans which is the capacity the Magic can have in their 20,000 seat arena.
Coming from a state in Pennsylvania where there are a lot of restrictions, coach Doc Rivers was surprised to see how loose things were in Florida.
“I don’t want to take a shot in any state but, my God,” said Rivers. “Yesterday I was under my bed I was so scared. People are walking around like there’s nothing here, I’m surprised. I know there’s only going to be about 3,000 or so at the arena so that’ll a little safer, but I’ve been pretty surprised how open and maskless this place is.”
Now, the Sixers did play in front of fans when they took on the Cleveland Cavaliers on Dec. 27, but that was only 300 fans allowed. The Magic are taking it as far as they can and that can make somebody feel uneasy during these times.
Rivers did add that he feels safe inside the arena.
“It’s a safe place to be, but our guys are great, really I think they’re doing a great job,” Rivers said. “We’re learning that you go from state to state, but you still have the same NBA protocols and I think that’s really important. I think the league has done a really good job of before we went, they made sure we knew ‘Okay restaurants are open in Orlando. They’re just not open for you’. I thought that was a very good thing that our league did.”
The NBA has done a solid job to begin the 2020-21 season as there have not been too many positives within the league. There actually have not been any positives since Christmas Eve after the league completed their latest round of testing.
The Sixers will take on the Magic at 6:30 p.m. EST on Thursday.
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