With the season nearly over, these are the lessons the league will have to bear in mind if the bubble repeats.
Although the bubble experience has been successful in preventing COVID-19 infections, there are aspects that must be evaluated. / Photo: YT / Boy Balls
LatinamericanPost| Juan Manuel Londoño
Listen to this article
Leer en español: Lecciones que nos deja esta burbuja de la NBA
The NBA bubble has been, thus far, an extremely successful experiment. With no cases of coronavirus reported, the season could be played from start to finish with just a couple of embarrassing episodes from its players. However, in our opinion, there are a couple of things that the league, both coaches and managers, have to take into account for the next round of games.
Families must accompany players and coaches
If anything has affected members of the NBA during this bubble, it is the absence of their families. Dwight Howard, for example, reported feeling "depressed and anxious" for a time. Although the families of the players were finally able to enter the Playoffs, the families of the coaches took a little longer to do so.
It is understandable that not seeing your loved ones affects the players. We are living in times of unprecedented economic and health instability and often a screen is not able to replace a loved one. It is essential that all members of the bubble, players and staff at least have the company of one family member.
Chemistry between players will be essential to win
During this season, if anything has been noticed, it is that the emotions that exist between the players intensify in the bubble. If there is good chemistry, this will be even better. On the contrary, if it is bad ... well, the results speak for themselves.
Look no further than what happened to the LA Clippers. With everything to win, this team had multiple internal conflicts that resulted in them going from leading the quarterfinal series 4-1 to losing it in a historic series. Many journalists, for example, reported that several clippers, after this terrible loss, "rolled their eyes" when star Paul George tried to cheer them up.
The Clippers were a team that "never could" find their chemistry according to George himself and this was reflected in their early elimination from the Playoffs.
On the other hand, teams like the Denver Nuggets saw their stars shine more than ever thanks to their assertive communication and camaraderie. Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray, the duo to watch in these Playoffs, commented that their relationship was "like that of a couple" and that this allowed them to overcome two deficits of 3-1.
Working in the camaraderie will then be key for the coaches, to prevent the teams from exploding on the inside in a hypothetical future bubble.
Stronger punishments for bubble breakers
Although there were only a couple of incidents where players broke league rules, they were a shame. The first was the case of Danuel House, a Rockets player, who had a woman "for multiple hours" in his hotel room, who was not authorized to be on the field. The scandal became public and Danuel was expelled for the rest of the bubble season, but the punishment stayed there.
Likewise, Lou Williams, a Clippers player, was found in a strip-house hours after obtaining permission to leave the bubble to attend a funeral. In his case, he was only given a 10-day suspension.
Considering the NBA is wasting valuable testing and resources from a needy state like Orlando, one would expect the punishment to go beyond a temporary suspension. At the very least, considering that gamers are a role model for thousands of American children, he should be fined. The NBA has to show both its players and its fans that, in the event of a second bubble, the rules would have to be unbreakable.