It’s early, but it’s safe to say that so far the breakout star of the NBA bubble is the newest member of the Lakers, J.R. Smith. Smith went on Instagram Live nearly as soon as he arrived at Disney World, and he gave us an incredible virtual tour behind the scenes.
Maybe too incredible for the NBA’s taste, in the end, as Smith was apparently told to get off Live by someone for revealing too much about the bubble. But before he got the hook, he managed to produce several magical backstage moments, so if you had “week one” in the “when will J.R. have his first viral moment for the Lakers” pool, congrats, you win a prize.
First, like many of his NBA compatriots, Smith has some thoughts on the menu players are being provided for their first days in the bubble (a menu that will reportedly get better once everyone is no longer isolating in their rooms, we should note):
JR Smith reading the food menu for the NBA campus NSFW— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) July 10, 2020
(via @TheRealJRSmith) pic.twitter.com/AvjGAA65YM
ay why JR Smith go off real quick on the NBA about the food at the bubble good to have you back my boy pic.twitter.com/Mp5InzWhi7— Smoove2k (@Smoovington610) July 10, 2020
He has a point about the candy, but at least it appears that the food situation will get better in terms of the actual meals in a couple of days.
Still, the food wasn’t exactly Smith’s only problem with the hotel:
The hotel ain’t give JR Smith a gotdamn blanket. #LakersBubble pic.twitter.com/DWC4tFfXcG— SILO (@SiloSara) July 10, 2020
Lakers guard JR Smith goes live on Instagram after landing in Orlando. He declares: “This shit is ass” just minutes after arriving in the #NBABubble pic.twitter.com/luUVO5fRlF— NBA BubbleReport (@TheNBABubble) July 10, 2020
“Stay woke,” indeed, J.R. But that first complaint had a (sort of) happy ending at least:
UPDATE: JR got his lil ass blanket. #LakersBubble pic.twitter.com/wB7pRyJrxd— SILO (@SiloSara) July 10, 2020
And even if the hotel experience may not be up to par so far for Smith, it’s at least helping the team pick up their chemistry right where they left off:
Our team pic.twitter.com/AewSY07rIs— Lakers Empire (@LakersEmpire) July 10, 2020
JR Smith, Kuz, KCP, and Quinn Cook enjoying their time as roommates pic.twitter.com/5Fdg1OUmBi— The Laker Files (@LakerFiles) July 10, 2020
That first video also featured one of the best Instagram Live comments I’ve ever seen:
"yo go ding dong ditch LeBron" pic.twitter.com/gvS3YDv9ql— Harrison Faigen (@hmfaigen) July 10, 2020
No word on if Smith went and followed through on that viewer request, but we did get confirmation on one other thing: He is confident the Lakers are winning the title, or at least staying at Disney World for the long haul:
July 10, 2020
By the end of it, though, someone — maybe the NBA, maybe the Lakers, maybe a teammate, who knows — told Smith it was time to go, and our passport inside the Tragic Kingdom was revoked as he despondently signed off:
“Aw man, they mad at me bro”— Complex Sports (@ComplexSports) July 10, 2020
JR got a text to shut down his live. pic.twitter.com/pROk6fL0Kj
If this is our last look inside the bubble from Smith, godspeed to the NBA legend for bringing us all something to enjoy while we sit at home waiting for basketball to return. Smith has already proven he was the best possible signing the Lakers could have made for the bubble, at least for their fans’ sakes.
For more Lakers talk, subscribe to the Silver Screen and Roll podcast feed on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher or Google Podcasts. You can follow Harrison on Twitter at @hmfaigen.