As the NBA tries to resume its season, the resounding tone around the first few days in the Disney World “bubble” has not been very enthusiastic. The Lakers and players on other teams complained about the food, their rooms and the lengths they had to go to in order to make themselves at home.
While the Lakers’ second day in the bubble wasn’t universally positive, it does sound like the mood was starting to shift to be a bit better. Or at least towards resignation and acceptance. The best example of this new tone might have been from Danny Green, who broke down what his departure from home and arrival in Orlando was like on the latest episode of his podcast, “Inside the Green Room.”
“It was weird. It was different. Because you never really say your goodbyes like this. You saw Bron tweeted he feels like we’re doing a bid (going to prison), or just going away, like going away to war or something like that. Everybody is saying goodbyes and getting emotional because they don’t know the next time they’ll see you.”
Adding to the weirdness, Green said, was players being spaced out on the plane, and having to self-quarantine in their rooms upon arrival. Still, he was trying to keep a positive outlook:
“It’s been, I wouldn’t say bad, but it’s been fun, it’s been interesting, it’s been different. But you can tell they’ve done a great job of putting together a great situation for us. Obviously it’s not the best circumstances. It’s not ideal. But with what they have, they’ve made the best out of it.”
And judging by social media, a few of his teammates were discovering that same mindset, and slowly adjusting to their new life in the bubble.
Not a Motel 6
Lakers guard Rajon Rondo briefly trended on Twitter on Thursday as people became upset that he compared his prospective hotel room in the Gran Destino resort at Disney World to a Motel 6, but he wasn’t the only player unhappy. Denver Nuggets big man Paul Millsap evidently had a slightly worse problem (that we may or may not have sent a mean tweet about):
Paul Millsap says his room at Disney World doesn't have a window.— Harrison Wind (@HarrisonWind) July 10, 2020
Perhaps inspired to focus on the positives by at least (apparently) having it better than Millsap, Rondo appeared a bit more sanguine on his Instagram on Friday:
Rajon Rondo's room a) has a window b) has a yoga mat and c) is not in a Motel 6 pic.twitter.com/rlvvO9z4fH— Harrison Faigen (@hmfaigen) July 11, 2020
See? That’s not so bad. Other than the whole “being in the middle of a hotspot during a pandemic” thing.
Life on Waiters Island
Dion Waiters’ Instagram posts are almost always a ray of sunshine, and his clear joy about just being back in the NBA and playing for the Lakers shined through in his own first bubble reactions:
Dion Waiters seems to be enjoying life in the bubble so far pic.twitter.com/zdGuICjXfZ— Harrison Faigen (@hmfaigen) July 11, 2020
I may or may not be saving this video as a reaction meme for later.
Flying on the Wings of Angels
Quinn Cook and Alex Caruso are two of the most positive people you’ll ever meet, and so it was not unexpected to see them team up to say they’d found something they liked in the bubble, but it was endearing nonetheless:
Alex Caruso and Quinn Cook didn't mind the wings: pic.twitter.com/fTqL1Kpgun— Harrison Faigen (@hmfaigen) July 11, 2020
I look forward to seeing more of this bromance as the restart continues.
You Trying to Tour with Pipe?
Not everyone was totally happy by Friday, though. New Laker J.R. Smith gave fans a magical video tour of bubble conditions on his first night, but as funny as it was — and it was hilarious — it was also clear that Smith wasn’t exactly thrilled at how things had gone so far. He did not seem to be much happier while giving Tristan Thompson a virtual tour on Instagram Live (as Clipper Lou Williams commented that he was outside).
Still, he’s at least having fun with the situation:
Lakers guard JR Smith is once again live on Instagram- this time with Tristan Thompson. Smith shows off his view of the parking lot and reveals that he was given the room next to the stairs. #NBABubble pic.twitter.com/t4UzB94JuU— NBA BubbleReport (@TheNBABubble) July 10, 2020
As long as the Lakers all clear their second day of coronavirus tests on Saturday, they should be allowed to practice then and play all together as a group for the first time in months. Maybe that — combined with the ability to move around the property a bit more freely — will help raise Smith and the rest of the team’s spirits as #BubbleWatch continues.