The Pros and Cons of being in a Sports Bubble

The Pros and Cons of being in a Sports Bubble

Travis Cellucci

On March 11th, 2019, the NBA suspended the season when Jazz Center Rudy Gobert contracted COVID-19. This, along with the virus making its way to the United States, ultimately led to the suspension of the NBA’s  season. Many people thought the season was over for good, while many others thought it would eventually return, just in a different way. Five months later on July 30th, the NBA resumed the season, but in a much different way. They are currently holding all the games at the ESPN Wide World of Sports in Orlando, Florida, inside of what they are calling a bubble. Once they enter, they can’t leave. According to ESPN, players and coaches go through daily health checks and continuous safety precautions to ensure the safety of everyone within the bubble. The idea of the bubble is to prevent the people in it from leaving, and the people from the outside coming in. We have seen multiple sports using this method, one being the NBA, along with the NHL and WNBA. While it comes with many advantages, there are also many negatives to it.

Before the season actually restarted, players were flown down to Orlando a few weeks early to get everything ready for the eventual restart. In an article by the NPR, players had a lot of free time to themselves to mingle inside the bubble and basically do whatever they wanted. Many players went fishing or played some pick up games with other teams in the bubble with them. It was a once in a lifetime experience for them, because they got to have their own little space and it was all to themselves. And of course, they got to play basketball again.

However, these bubbles have many drawbacks and aren’t as pleasing as they’re portrayed. One of the biggest catches was that no close family or friends of the players were allowed in the bubble. This may not seem like a big deal but to some players it was. Clippers Point Guard Paul George spoke out during a press conference after a game about having depression and anxiety in the bubble. There is no social life in the bubble, and they see the same people everyday and it can be tough on them to be completely taken away from our society and loved ones. Many other players, including the likes of Danny Green and Jaylen Brown, have also privately talked to Paul George about having the same issue, saying it’s tough when the only contact they have is through social media, and a lot of times they’re getting hate and criticism about how they’re playing. Overall, the bubble is physically and mentally demanding on the players.

The bubble has proven to be both a good and bad way for the NBA to return. There have been many upsides to it, but along with that, there have been many downsides. I think for the most part, people are just happy to have sports back, and they don’t care how they get it.