Pat Riley, two players stay back as Heat head to NBA Disney 'bubble'

Ira Winderman, Sun Sentinel on

Published in Basketball

Beyond those 29, the list for the Heat traveling party includes Simon, Director of Basketball Administration Scott Gurka, Vice President of Basketball Security David Holcombe, Equipment Manager Rob Pimental, and video coordinators Eric Glass and Dan Bisaccio.

The NBA mandated that all traveling parties for the 22 teams invited to Disney include at least one trainer, strength coach, equipment representative and security staffer, as well as the aforementioned senior executive.

Several remaining members of the staff who typically travel are expected to work behind the scenes from AmericanAirlines Arena or remotely, with the Heat's draft preparations to be ongoing amid the conclusion of a season that has been delayed since March 11 by the new coronavirus pandemic.

"It's an agonizing process," Spoelstra said last month of such limitations amid the league's quarantine approach. "I think we all have to have a great deal of empathy and compassion for staff members who really have a big-time role that won't be able to go.

"I just hate this term of 'essential' staff, and 'non-essential' staff."

The NBA allowed for two team media employees to also be part of the traveling party. For the Heat those are Vice President of Sports Media Relations Tim Donovan and Terek Pierce, the team 's digital content producer manager.

Among the NBA's guidelines for selecting the initial traveling party was, "Teams should continue to rely on individuals not traveling to the campus to provide support and services to the team remotely, to the extent practicable. Teams should also work with such individuals to prepare for the possibility that they may be required to travel to the campus at a later date to provide necessary services."


Those outside of the traveling party, including Riley, Elisburg, owner Micky Arison and others in the front office not in the traveling party, will be allowed to view games and practices in person while socially distanced, but are not allowed to interact in person with those in the restricted "bubble" setting.

The Heat's practice facility was closed last week after two positive COVID tests. The Heat have declined to publicly identify the players who have tested positive, citing NBA guidelines.

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