Early on during his time in the NBA bubble, it seemed like LeBron James was enjoying himself well enough. Able to move freely around Disney World without having to worry about getting mobbed by fans or paparazzi, the Lakers star seemed to be at peace.
The good vibes didn’t last long. As the season moved along at Disney World, it became obvious that James was annoyed by the restrictive nature of the campus, of how unpredictable practice times could be, and how hard it was to establish a routine, among other things. For a legendarily obsessive and habitual person like James, that would be bad enough, but it was also obvious how much he missed his family, especially his mom, his three children, and his wife.
James’ wife, Savannah, is in the bubble now, but his mom and three children are not. When asked why he decided not to bring them, and he was frank.
“Because there’s nothing for them to do. I mean, I got a 16-year-old, he’s gonna sit in the bubble and do what? I got a 13-year-old, he,’s gonna do what? And then my five-year-old girl, there’s nothing for her to do here. The park is not open,” James said. “There’s only so many times (my daughter) can go to the pool.
“This is not a kid-friendly place, let’s just be honest.”
The NBA has gone to great lengths to keep the bubble safe from coronavirus, but it has come at the expense of many of the amenities that Disney World has to offer. Only select restaurants are open, you can’t visit others’ hotel rooms, and while golf, the pool and fishing can be fun, it probably wears on anyone after two months. And as James mentioned, it’s not like the players and their families can actually go to Disney World, because no one can leave the bubble without having to re-quarantine upon entry. The plan has succeeded at keeping the pandemic out (so far), but it hasn’t exactly made it a blast for anyone, much less young kids.
“My kids are too adventurous, and they love to do so much stuff. It makes no sense for them to be here. There’s nothing for them to do here. Go outside, come back in, go outside, come back in. They can stay in L.A., and they’re great,” James said.
As he was talking, it was hard not to hear the heavy subtext of that there is nothing for him to do there, either. That’s the endless paradox of the bubble. It’s a luxury resort that no one wants to be at. Players want to win a title, but every win extends their stay somewhere they don’t want to be. James is willing to tough it out for a chance at a ring, but it doesn’t mean he wants to force his kids to do the same.