By Charlotte Wilder
They say life imitates art, but in 2020, life actually imitates sports.
I say this because while putting together the Bubble Report (trademark pending) this week, it became clear that the NBA campus in Orlando has become a microcosm of what’s happening in much of the country. Everyone is trying not to get sick (okay, so maybe that’s the one difference), the players have been separated from their families for months, and social justice is at the top of mind for players, coaches, and staff.
Let me show you.
Putting family first here, because as Michael says in “Arrested Development”:
Michael: What comes before anything? What have we always said is the most important thing?
George Michael: Breakfast.
George Michael: Family, right. I thought you meant of the things you eat.
…family comes first. And players were finally able to see theirs.
One interesting tidbit about the NBA allowing families into the bubble comes from ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. Family is formally prohibited from trash-talking refs.
Doesn’t seem fair, but hey, I’m not a doctor.
In other news, there was a baby Buck sitting courtside to watch his dad — Giannis, ever heard of him? — take on the Heat!
Giannis later talked about how nice it was to have his family around.
Remember when Fred VanVleet had a kid last year and then won the Finals? The Celtics better watch out, because the family is in the building.
And even if family couldn’t join, they’re still sending their love from afar. Jayson Tatum’s son Deuce sent him a care package.
I’m not crying, you’re crying.
If you didn’t know, Deuce is a local legend in Boston.
2. Social Justice
On and off the court, fighting for racial equality is the No. 1 goal for NBA players, as they made clear by their boycott last Wednesday.
Games resumed because players wanted to use their platforms for continuing the fight to end police brutality and voter suppression.
Donavan Mitchell put everything in perspective after the Jazz lost Game 7…
…and Giannis talked about how moving it was to speak with Jacob Blake’s father.
Jaylen Brown has continued to be a leading voice in the fight for equality.
And as LeBron joined the rest of the sports world in mourning Chadwick Boseman, it was hard to argue with his point about 2020.
3. The bubble is a party
Look, just because times are hard and everything feels heavy, it doesn’t mean we can’t find ways to have fun and live in the light a little bit.
In fact, I’d argue finding places for those moments of levity is crucial. When trying to get through something as challenging as a global pandemic while also trying to make the world a better place, you have to recharge so you can keep fighting.
The work is essential, but in order to do it, you’ve gotta take care of yourself and look after your mental health as well. The other day I danced around the living room for a good hour to try to feel better — looks like I’m not the only one.
Thanks for the inspiration, Marcus Smart.
And then there’s LeBron. Some of us have wine, some of us have cigars.
Find your bliss, my dudes.
4. Donovan Mitchell in a kiddie pool as an ice bath
That’s it, that’s the whole thing.
5. Bubble fashion
We talked about statement masks a few weeks ago, but the drip hasn’t let up as we’ve gotten deeper into the playoffs.
Mitchell went the formal route…
While the Heat’s Tyler Herro dressed like everyone else at home during quarantine with too much time on their hands.
Remember when I said the bubble is just a smaller version of the rest of the country right now? I meant it.
As if I couldn’t love Tatum more, he’s got Big Bird on his shorts!!!!
And Chris Paul took the “when in Rome” approach.
If anyone knows where I can get my hands on those last three outfits, please let me know. That’s the ideal 2020 aesthetic.
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