Life in the NBA Bubble
Updated: Oct 6, 2020
by Brad Miller
From bowling to golf, the NBA Bubble has it all! The NBA has been successful in providing its players with plenty of activities while they have to stay at Walt Disney World to finish the rest of the season. While currently there are four teams that remain in the bubble, it started with 22 teams arriving on July 7.
The players have been isolated from the outside world for the most part, meaning they will primarily be exposed to their teammates, coaches and opponents. After the first round of playoffs, the NBA has allowed family members and personal friends inside of the bubble. If a player can see one of their family or friends, their interactions are very limited.
Los Angeles Clippers coach Doc Rivers said, “We’re trying to just live our life… Have our best Disney life." While the NBA is trying to make the days go by fast with around-the-clock activities, these players know as well as anyone that we are currently living in a pandemic. Medical personnel are constantly patrolling the grounds and players are tested frequently to make sure it’s a safe environment.
NBA player Danilo Gallinari was able to be reached for questioning thanks to his brother Federico Gallinari, a senior majoring in accounting and sports management at Rochester University. Danilo, who plays for the Oklahoma City Thunder, said the day-to-day experience in the bubble was difficult but good at the end of the day. "The NBA did a great job! I got used to it with it just being an everyday thing.” The players made the best out of the whole situation.
“Yes, it was tough being away from my family, but that was the only problem. Other than that it was nice,” Danilo said. Like most players in the bubble, it was difficult to be away from their loved ones for an extended period of time. However, the players were more than excited to have the season continue.
When quarantine began and the NBA shut down, plenty of fans assumed that in a month or two the season would continue. That was not the case and for a while, no one knew if the 2019-2020 season would’ve had a true conclusion. Nevertheless the NBA was able to make a comeback and continue the season.
“It was very weird to not have fans. It was like a practice atmosphere. But hopefully, it won’t happen again,” Danilo said. Even with the NBA doing its best to make the players feel at home, most people involved would prefer to not reenact the 2019-2020 season. Danilo said when he was bored in the NBA Bubble, the first things he would do were to play guitar and chill at the pool with his teammates. "The atmosphere of it all was pretty relaxing. So while not in practice or preparing for a game, it was nice to relax.”
Danilo also said he didn't think the stoppage of the season, which resulted in the NBA Bubble, affected the outcome of the rest of the regular season and playoffs. “If the season had never had its break, I believe the outcome would have been the same," he said.
As of right now, the last four teams inside of the NBA Bubble are battling to be the 2019-2020 champions. Will it be the Lakers, Nuggets, Heat or Celtics that take home the trophy? Stay tuned to NBA TV or TNT to see the rest of the season conclude.