It has been nearly two months since the Los Angeles Lakers entered the Orlando bubble, and so far they have done well for themselves as they eliminated the Portland Trail Blazers in five games and advanced to the Western Conference Semifinals for the first time since 2012.
However, they have had to work their way back to form as the Lakers were far from sharp during their seeding games. Obviously the hiatus was not ideal with keeping a rhythm, but the players were also reportedly dealing with the mental toll that came with being away from friends loved ones for so long.
Danny Green, who was mired in his own shooting slump prior to the playoffs, admitted that it has been a challenge living in the bubble for so long. “It has a lot to do with it,” Green said.
“Mentally, it’s kind of like Groundhog Dog day in here, with a mixture of some other movies; I don’t want to make it seem that bad. The bubble is as good as your play. You have not many escapes or outside distractions. If you’re not playing well, the wall is going to close in on you more and more.”
L.A. Clippers guard Paul George recently came out and said he was dealing with mental health issues and Green opened up about his own struggles. “Trust me, I know exactly what Paul is going through,” Green said.
“You have nothing but to look at your phone and social media all day. All they’re doing is bullying you, trying to get you to play well. He was going through a rough stretch, I’m sure the walls were closing in on him and it was getting dark for him. A lot of guys, it’s hard to adjust to this type of situation in the bubble.
“Those walls will close in a lot sooner. There’s no escape, you don’t have your family here, your dogs or your kids, your phone is right there. The only thing connecting you to the real world is social media. If you’re not playing well, social media is not going to be on your side.”
Mental health has become an increasingly discussed issue in the NBA and they have taken more steps to ensure that players are being taken care of.
It can not be understated what it must feel like for players to be away from their families and the rest of society for an extended period of time, so hopefully they are reaching out and getting help when necessary.
Frank Vogel preaches support among players during time in bubble
Los Angeles appears to have gotten over the hump after turning in three impressive playoff performances after a Game 1 letdown.
Still, the the Lakers face the ongoing problem of remaining confined to the NBA’s bubble campus, meaning they only really have each other to talk to in person.
Despite that, head coach Frank Vogel applauded his team for how they have managed to uplift each other. “It’s definitely a mental challenge,” Vogel admitted.
“We have a great group to be around and we all lean on each other, support each other and lift each other up. I’ve got a great foundation at home with my wife and two daughters, that I’m in communication with all day, every day.
“They keep me lifted and I keep them lifted. For all of us in the bubble, it’s even harder for our families. It’s important that we’re all trying to lift each other up and support each other.
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