On March 11th, 2020, the NBA season was suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic. At this time, many basketball fans were wondering when the season would start back up again, or even if they were going to finish the season. The NBA decided they were going to conclude their season by taking the top 22 teams, and finish the season in Orlando Florida’s Disney World in a “bubble”, meaning no one could leave or come in. The bubble is a $170 million dollar investment made by the NBA so they can resume play safe and secure. Starting on July 7th, several teams headed down to the bubble to prepare for their season, but what exactly is there to do in the bubble? First off, when all the players got there, they had to get a week’s worth of negative covid tests. After they pass those tests, they are free to do whatever they want in the bubble. NBA rookie Matisse Thybulle has been “vlogging” his time at the bubble and some of the activities he has done is golf, cornhole, pool games, interviews with TV shows, engaging in talks about the Black Lives Matter movement, and of course basketball.
When it comes to the basketball part of the bubble, it’s much simpler to a regular NBA game. The players all take a charter bus from the hotel to their makeshift NBA arena in ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Orlando. They go through their game rituals but when it’s gametime the arena is much different than a normal NBA game.The arena is much smaller but the NBA players like that because they say it’s easier to shoot in. Brooklyn Nets guard Joe Harris said “I think we should be shooting a higher percentage from the foul line because you don’t have the variable of the fans in the backdrop.” In the NBA regular season, the NBA shot a combined percentage of 77.1% on foul shouts. However, in the bubble, the NBA is shooting 80.6% from the foul line. Fans add this element to the game that makes NBA games really fun to watch. With the circumstances in place fans cannot come to the NBA games, but they put in an alternative where fans of the teams can log onto ZOOM and be a virtual fan. It may seem weird and obscure but it brings a little life to the game.
Although the NBA Bubble might have seemed like a weird idea to begin, and it might be seen as a waste of time and money, myself and all NBA fans around the world were happy to see the NBA resume and play sports again. It distracted us from the hardships going on in the world and let us enjoy the greatest basketball players compete for a NBA championship. The bubble not only restarted basketball but so many new ideas were brought to center stage about the injustices in our world.