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Let’s Check in on the NBA Bubble

What do people do when there’s nothing to do?

Walt Mickey and the Castle by jared Toczek is licensed under CC BY 3.0

Let’s Check in on the NBA Bubble

Estimated Reading Time: 6 Minutes

In a totally non-cynical attempt to bring diehard hoops fans the playoff basketball we so deeply desire (and to secure millions upon millions of dollars in TV revenue so that everyone involved can get PAID), the NBA has gone to the bubble. Unclear if any hack sportswriters have dubbed the 22 teams invited to Orlando the “Bubble Boys.” But I am happy to be that hack. 

The NBA’s plan is ambitious. Basically, they’ve set aside rooms in three Walt Disney World resorts – Yacht Club, Gran Destino Tower, and the Grand Floridian, which will have non-NBA guests staying at it as well! – to be used by players, coaches, and limited staff. Teams started arriving on July 7th with the first slate of games scheduled to begin July 30th. To be fair, the league’s plan has been praised by a bunch of public health experts. The basic tenets of the plan seem to be: everyone gets tested all the time and if you’re positive, like Russell Westbrook, you’re in timeout for a while before you’re allowed to join the team. Granted, this plan was made before Florida became the biggest coronavirus hot spot in the world.  

So how’s it going down there?

Well let’s check the old social medias.

Rajon Rondo thinks his hotel room looks like a Motel 6.

First off, what a gut punch to Disney. Rondo and the Lakers are staying in the Gran Destino Tower, the newest resort on Disney, and not a cheap one! Disney’s trying to play this place up like it’s big luxury. I mean they left the “d” off of Grand and made up a fake Italian word so that’s how you know it’s fancy. Rondo takes one step in the door and chucks a middle finger emoji at it. Tough break.

But your humble author spent a year on a low budget, non-union touring production of a musical and can assure you, Motel 6 this room is not. You can tell because there’s no black mold on the walls, implacable stains, or mysterious toothbrushes wedged underneath the sheets. (I assume!) That last thing actually happened at a Sleep Inn, the worst of the budget motels. But the point stands – these rooms are fine. Apparently Disney retrofitted all the player rooms with a bunch of giant beds, which is good for player health and whatnot but bad for those of us who were hoping for the comedy of seeing Joel Embiid on a queen sized bed.

The Clippers’ backcourt seems to be making the best of the situation. Pat Beverly showed off his room, highlighting his room’s view, his PlayStation, and like two dozen white t-shirts. His mantra: “The Bubble is what you make it.” Lou Williams has snacks for days (and some tequila and pineapple juice). He also set up a little recording studio in the corner!

Yes of course the food

NBA Twitter has been obsessed with the dietary options of the NBA’s best. This all got started with Troy Daniels’ infamous IG story from the first night of bubble life.

Is it possible that when it’s all said and done, Troy Daniels will be better known for his pictures featuring that sad bag of Stacy’s pita chips than anything he’s done on the court? That’s not meant to besmirch Troy Daniels. But he’s a role player who’s averaged 6.6 points in 15 minutes per game in his career to date, and these pics got All Star level attention. 

J.R. Smith weighed in on his own IG. Displaying one of those dinky single-serve packs of Velveeta Mac n’ Cheese he said, “You want a Ferrari to run like a Ferrari because you paid for it as a Ferrari, but you keep gassing it up with all this…Chrysler shit.” If and when J.R. ever does hang up his sneaks for good (and I hope that never happens), I hope he finds a second career as a creative writing teacher.

But the best food related bubble blunder to date belongs to the Sacramento Kings’ Richaun Holmes. Holmes saw the pictures of pretty mediocre looking cafeteria food and decided that wasn’t gonna cut it. And so he did what so many of us have done in a pinch – turn to delivery. Only problem? To retrieve his Postmates order, he had to leave the bubble. According to the agreement drawn up between the league and the NBA Players’ Association, that means Holmes has to spend 8 more days in quarantine. Unclear what he was ordering for dinner, but his mom weighed in with her thoughts on Twitter.


Odds and Ends

Boban is having a moment. After footage of his one-on-one game with Luka Doncic was tweeted out, old friend Tobias Harris got jealous. Boban swung by Tobias’ hotel room for a socially distanced visit (the stars! they’re just like us!), but Tobias wasn’t having it.

I find everything about this video so delightfully wholesome. Just two old friends who haven’t seen each other in a while catching up under insane circumstances. Who can not relate!

These dudes are all on campus at Disney World without their wives, girlfriends, families, etc. Some are coping by lying in bed and geeking over Snapchat filters:

Others are shotgunning beers with alarming speed:

It is just so freaking funny to see a giant man shotgunning a beer in a Disney World hotel room.

But according to one gal on twitter, at least one dude in the bubble is trying to get some company:

Hoops fans everywhere are hoping the bubble doesn’t burst. (Yes, I am still a hack.)

Actor. Celts and Sox fan. NBA League Pass enthusiast.

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