Back in July 2020, when the COVID-19 pandemic was at its peak in various parts of the country, the National Basketball Association (NBA) came up with a way to push through with the season while still maintaining health safety. They launched the 2020 NBA Bubble or the Disney Bubble. It was held from July to October 2020 at Walt Disney World in Florida. Players across the country came together to hold events from the exhibition scrimmages to the NBA Finals.
This bubble was a very costly affair for the NBA. It was reported that they spent over $150 million on accommodation, food, staff, marketing–everything that went on inside the bubble. Everyone inside it was tested first for COVID-19. And then, according to the medical protocol that the NBA released back in June 2020, everyone inside the bubble would be tested regularly. Apart from that, masks were to be worn by everyone. Just because they’re inside the bubble, it didn’t mean that they, too, didn’t look for custom face masks for sale. The bubble was considered a success. It helped the NBA push through with the season. It allowed everyone inside the bubble to continue with their jobs. This is significant, considering the staggering rise in unemployment rates during the pandemic.
Given everything that happened during the pandemic, we can’t be sure if the NBA would ever resort to staying in the bubble again. Should we ever come to that, then it’s good that we’ve learned important things along the way.
Ability to Completely Focus on Work
Before the start of the bubble in July, many of the players were stuck in quarantine for weeks. Workout sessions and other forms of physical training were strictly prohibited during the pandemic. Gyms and other fitness centers were ordered to close their doors. This meant that many of the NBA players didn’t get to have proper workout sessions for weeks. Sure, they did it at home on their own or with their families. But training is still not the same without their teammates.
But, by being inside the bubble, the players got to focus on their work entirely. After all, it’s not like a lot was going on in the bubble. They didn’t have social plans or events to get to.
Hard to be Away from Families
Although it’s good that the players entirely focused on their work, it was still tough to be inside the bubble. And it’s mostly because they were away from their families. With the pandemic going on, it was a challenging time to be away from home.
Each player had a unique situation at home. Their loved ones were struggling in their own ways, what with everything going on. With the high rates of COVID-19 cases in the United States at that time, some of them might even have loved ones who contracted the virus.
They got to keep in touch with their families during their time in the bubble. They had the internet and video call applications to thank for that. But it still wasn’t the same as being at home physically.
Even Those Who Aren’t Players Stayed Active
To a kid, spending months in quarantine in Disney World might be the greatest thing that could ever happen to them. Their imagination would be filled with images of riding the amusements rides to their heart’s content. They get to spend a lot of time with Mickey Mouse and other mascots of their favorite characters.
Of course, life in the bubble was so much far from that. The rides weren’t open. There weren’t mascots roaming around the area. But they still got to have a lot of fun. But what’s great is that their idea of fun was still rooted in staying active.
For example, a cornhole tournament took place inside the bubble. It was organized by the players of the San Antonio Spurs.
Pickleball was also a very popular activity. Only, it’s mostly played by people who weren’t playing basketball. Sports analysts such as Steve Smith of NBATV and Richard Jefferson of ESPN played competitively. The referees also played a lot.
The players and staff inside the NBA bubble were considered very lucky in their situation. They were able to go back to work and still maintain health safety. Yes, it wasn’t easy. Being away from their families took such a huge toll on them. But those months inside the bubble proved that with the right planning and logistics, they could hold an entire basketball season without spreading the coronavirus and endangering many people.