Into The Bubble

With the NBA less than 3 weeks away from a return to (almost) game action its anyone’s guess as to what can truly be expected in terms of an on-court product. Over the past week we have seen several players begin to acclimate themselves to life inside the bubble…

The next step for players will be to re-acclimate themselves to life on a basketball court. The NBA’s hope is that with the time given to teams prior to game action they will be able to put a strong product on the court. Hell, even if teams show some rust (how can they not?) fans will still be treated to March Madness style games from 1pm until well into the evening. With fans starved for live sports content, it’s incredibly hard to argue with what the NBA will be offering its viewers. Whether this attempt to salvage the season is the right thing to do health-wise for its players remains to be seen.

We’re living through an unprecedented time in the US (and the world at large) and the role that sports will play will be closely watched. Can it provide a unique opportunity to inspire hope for people that we can someday return to some sort of normalcy? Or will this bubble concept ultimately fail to keep out Covid-19 and result in the cancellation of the season? I know the NBA and Commissioner Adam Silver believe the bubble will hold. With teams beginning on court team activities over the next 3 weeks we will see if that belief will hold true.

The NBA certainly is on shakier ground today than just a few weeks ago. Between Covid-19 cases exploding in Florida, teams being forced to shutdown facilities due to positive tests, and high profile players like Victor Oladipo and Bradley Beal opting not join their teams in Orlando, the NBA certainly hoped for a better lead up to the Orlando restart.

Despite these concerns the NBA forges ahead, meanwhile the NBA community continues to look back towards its past and “celebrate” anniversaries it deems worthy. The most recent look back examined Lebron’s The Decision, as it’s been 10 years since declared he was relocating to the welcoming arms South Florida…

Oh and in case you were wondering, yes we are still doing this shit…

I can only assume that 10 years from now, whatever hell-ish version of FirstTake exists, they will be arguing if the NBA bubble in Orlando was the right decision and the legacy of its eventual champion.

Initially, the response to announcement of the bubble and its 22 team format was that the championship would be donned with an asterisk. However, as the conversation continued and the NBA’s most respected voices and stars have gotten involved the view has shifted…

I think we know that this years champion will have to wear the badge of being “the bubble champion”. A decade from now when we look back will that be a badge viewed with reverence, respect, and admiration? Or will it forever be stained by its lack of traditionalism its structure? Unfortunately for some fans and pundits it will be determined by how many players and teams are impacted by injury and positive Covid-19 cases. For the people that see how challenging this several month gauntlet will be, they will look back at the eventual champion just as any other champion (perhaps even a peg higher).

Because if the 4 months without the NBA have taught us anything, its that legacy matters. It matters BIG TIME. To fans. To players. To teams. To organizations. So when the year is 2030 and the documentary with all the behind the scenes footage is released, hopefully we know what the conversation will be. Cause we damn sure know what it should be.

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