If Anthony Davis and the Los Angeles Lakers have it their way, time spent in the NBA bubble will span three months from their July 9 arrival. The NBA Finals are scheduled to be played in October, with a potential Game 7 set for Oct. 12.
Much has been made about the time players are spending away from their families in order to see the NBA restart through, and while the Lakers have acknowledged that as a challenge, the team is embracing the opportunity ahead.
Another notable change for players is they have been removed from their respective comfort zones. During a normal season, there would be a stretch of home games and opportunity to play in a familiar setting.
Now, teams will rotate between The Arena at the ESPN Wide World of Sports complex, HP Field House and Visa Athletic Center. Each of which is new territory for them. But like with life in the bubble, Davis is taking it all in stride.
“I mean, just kind of treat it as an away game routine,” he said when asked if playing in the bubble required any changes to his gameday approach. “There’s nothing I did specifically (at Staples Center) that will alter my pregame routine.”
Forecasting this type of scenario would have been impossible, but in this case Davis is fortunate to not have any sort of traditions that are specific to Staples Center. Of course, he’s in his first season with the team and developing such presumably takes some time.
While the Lakers don’t play any of their scrimmages in The Arena, Davis did already give it his stamp of approval. “I think it’s pretty cool how they have the big monitors so you can have family, friends, fans, whoever, kind of be in the arena,” he said.
“I think that’s a pretty dope idea. I know they’re still trying to figure out some things as far as lighting and the sounds, but I think the whole concept of it is pretty dope.”
Rust vs. rest debate
The Lakers take the court Thursday for their first scrimmage game, which suffice to say won’t be at the same quality the team was at in March. Davis nonetheless is of the mind the long layoff will suit the Lakers well.
“I think we are rested and energized. I think it gave everybody a chance to decompress in the middle of the season,” he said. “You try to get healthy, get your body back right and just kind of get away from the game a little bit.
“I think whoever wins is going to be the team that’s mentally tough. I don’t think this has anything to do with physical attributes. It’s more who’s mentally tough to get through just being here, not seeing your family and getting back to work. I think we have an advantage in that category.”
Davis had previously said the fourth-month hiatus provided him with an opportunity to fully recover from nagging injuries and he now is 100% healthy.
Have you subscribed to our YouTube channel? It’s the best way to watch player interviews, exclusive coverage from events, participate in live shows, and more!