Life Inside the NBA Bubble

Sydney Campbell, Senior Design Editor

Coronavirus forced the 2020 National Basketball Association (NBA) season to continue in “the bubble” at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Fl. 22 NBA teams entered this bubble in July to rest, play and practice in Lake Buena-Vista under quarantine-like restrictions. This situation has never occurred in the sports world before. In a new place with a new schedule, athletes must find ways to preoccupy themselves and adjust to their new routine. 

In the beginning, players began posting their room service on social media and complaining about the quality of food they were receiving, making the transition from home cooked meals and catering a hard one.

One of the first players to bring up the food situation, Denver Nuggets guard Troy Daniels, complained via Instagram Story. 

After multiple players complained, the NBA made it clear that the food would only be served for the first 48-hour quarantine period and once this time passed, players would receive food geared towards their specialized meal plans and dietary needs. 

Playing in the bubble offers fans a whole new experience. There are virtual fans cheering through Zoom that project onto the wall. 

“I really enjoy watching the new perspective of playing basketball in a very scary environment,” Girls Head-basketball coach Donnie Martin said. “These professionals have taken the game of basketball to a new level.” 

Throughout quarantine, isolation seems to have an effect on mental health. At this point, the NBA players have been separated from their families for two months now and the coaches and fans expect them to play and perform well in the playoffs. 

“These guys have adapted to this new world of basketball without their families and the outside world, being in the bubble with limited access to things as simple as going to the store, or taking a drive around their neighborhood,” Martin said. 

Some players, such as the Miami Heat’s Meyers Leonard, spend their extra time streaming video gameplay on Twitch, while others took coffee meetups to the next level. Miami Heat’s Jimmy Butler, for example, made his coffee the talk of the team.

Butler’s teammates often post about his “Big Face Coffee” business that runs from his hotel room. Whether a small, medium or large, any cup from Butler is a steep $20. Perhaps this business will continue after the bubble and eventually turn into a legitimate franchise. 

Although there were initial struggles, after the adjustment period, players began to settle in, and the NBA gradually allowed the family and close friends of players to enter the bubble. After facing isolation for months and having to adapt to a new hectic environment, fans all around the world appreciate what the members of the league had to give up to be here. 

“These players and coaches should be commended for making such a huge sacrifice for us to enjoy watching basketball,” Martin said. 

While there are already questions about how the next NBA season will work, fans and players alike were both relieved that the NBA was able to resume this season in a safe and enjoyable manner.