The NBA isn’t taking any chances as it looks to complete its season, which was upended in March because of the coronavirus pandemic. Games resume Thursday night at Disney World in Orlando, Florida, where players and coaches will remain until they are eliminated from contention.

Much like the MLS and WNBA, which started their respective seasons earlier this month, the NBA has built a “bubble” environment. Comprehensive guidelines have been imposed in order to keep players healthy, and there are ramifications for not following the rules.

By contrast 

Without a bubble, Major League Baseball's season has already been disrupted, with one  team suffering a coronavirus outbreak less than a week into the season. Nearly half the players traveling with the Miami Marlins have tested positive for COVID-19, temporarily suspending the team’s season and casting serious doubt that MLB will make it to the World Series.

“We're seeing what's happening in baseball,” NBA Commission Adam Silver said. “With the Marlins especially, and it's something we track closely. Having said that, we have confidence in this protocol that we designed you referred to as a bubble. It's not actually a sealed bubble, but everyone who is on that campus is tested on a daily basis.”

Players can be given permission to leave the bubble. If they test negative for COVID-19 each day, they have to quarantine for four days upon their return. New Orleans Pelicans star Zion Williamson was gone for 12 days because of a family medical emergency, and he’s eligible to play in Thursday’s game after following the protocol.

Los Angeles Clippers guard Lou Williams was allowed to leave Orlando in order to attend a funeral, but an unscheduled trip to an Atlanta strip club resulted in a 10-day quarantine back in the bubble. Williams won’t be allowed to play in the Clippers’ first two games.

There are plenty of ways for players to spend their free time on the campus, though they are encouraged to wear masks and socially distance. Social media has been filed with footage of players fishing, golfing, swimming and even chugging beer.

“They're taking extraordinary precautions,” Silver told ABC. “The only time they're not wearing masks is when they're actually playing basketball.”

Bubble residents can play table tennis in the common area of a hotel, though doubles aren’t allowed because it would put individuals within 6 feet of each other. Playing cards is fine, just make sure you throw away the deck when you’re finished.

Life in the bubble might feel strange, but it’s what the NBA feels it must do in order to complete a season that won’t end until mid-October. The rules could help the league avoid a situation similar to the one MLB is currently facing.

The NBA announced Wednesday that none of the players in the bubble have tested positive for the coronavirus since July 13.

Stephen Curry Golden State Warriors NBA athlete Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors chips onto the 16th green during the final round of the American Century Championship at Edgewood Tahoe South course on July 12, 2020 in South Lake Tahoe, Nevada. Photo: Christian Petersen/Getty Images