Privacy concerns have been raised, but league officials say the chips, as Ben Dowsett detailed in a piece for Forbes, are meant to identify others at risk in case someone within the bubble tests positive for the coronavirus.
“It’s not some futuristic thing like where it’s pet tracking or something,” Sikma said. “Personally, it hasn’t been a big issue.”
Crawford acknowledged that he was dismayed at first that the chips, produced by the German company Kinexon, were “kind of sprung on us” when players got to Munich. In daily practice, though, Crawford has not found the chips, nor any of the other restrictions, to be too onerous.
“I can’t complain after I agreed to do something,” Crawford said.
Patrick said his team was indeed “a little nervous” at the outset, mostly because of the inevitable fear of the unknown. But after 10 days of bubble life, Patrick agreed with Sikma’s contention that “it’s pretty normal inside the hotel.”
The four-star property may not quite be up to N.B.A. standards, but one conference room downstairs has been turned into a well-stocked game room (with a golf simulator, N.B.A. 2K video games, table tennis, etc.), and players or staff can rent scooters as well as bikes to explore the vast Olympic Park nearby.
“We’re literally in one of the nicest areas in one of the nicest cities in the world, so we can’t really complain about that,” said Patrick, adding that B.B.L. participants are “the guinea pigs for a lot of leagues.”
Perhaps unwittingly, Patrick then hit upon what might be the biggest thing Germany’s basketball bubble has in common with the N.B.A. version, which is scheduled to take in 22 teams from July 7-9: Keeping the B.B.L. viable and active, amid great economic hardship, is crucial for its future.