It has been nearly two months since the Los Angeles Lakers arrived in the Orlando bubble and so far it’s been a success regarding their playoff status as they are in the second round.
However, the Lakers — much like the other teams in the bubble — have had to endure being without their families and loved ones which can put a mental strain on any player. Basketball is 24/7 in the bubble, but players and coaches need outlets.
Mental health has been a league-wide focus in recent years and head coach Frank Vogel has urged his team to utilize the resources they have available. “We just have made sure our guys understand what resources we have,” Vogel said.
“We have not done a lot of exercises in mental health or things like that, but we definitely check in on an individual basis far more than we would in a regular season or non-bubble atmosphere.
“We made sure just recently our guys understood what mental health resources we have back at home, recommitting to their contact information, as well as Dr. Derick Anderson that’s here in the bubble. Made sure our guys understood who he was and that he’s here in the bubble if they want to talk to somebody in person.”
LeBron James recently admitted he has had thoughts of leaving, and he reasoned everyone has, which speaks to how stressful things can get.
While James and the rest of the roster appear committed to the goal of winning a championship, it should not come at the expense of their mental well-being.
Vogel addresses non-basketball issues in film sessions and team meetings
Aside from the mental aspect of the bubble itself, the Lakers have also been pushing the league and its owners for more action in regards to social reform.
James has been one of the key figures spearheading discussions as he has reached out to people like Barack Obama for advice on how to handle the situation. So far, the owners have been receptive to the players and their requests and both sides have formulated a plan on how to proceed.
Of course, keeping the conversation going is important while discussions have momentum and Vogel addressed how he handles non-basketball issues on off days. “We’ll have courses before film sessions if we need to address non-basketball issues,” Vogel said.
“On occasion it’ll take the place of a film session. But for the most part it’ll be a quick touch or conversation prior to our work. When it’s time to transition, we transition into our work.”
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