No fans are able to watch NBA seeding games live inside the Walt Disney World bubble, but that does not mean spectators have not been on hand to see the Los Angeles Lakers, Houston Rockets, Dallas Mavericks, L.A. Clippers and other in action.
NBA players who are already in the Orlando bubble and have cleared protocols can attend games they are not playing in. Portland Trail Blazers trio CJ McCollum, Damian Lillard and Carmelo Anthony and Oklahoma City Thunder guard Chris Paul were among the familiar faces watching the Lakers-Clippers showdown from the sidelines, giving it the AAU Tournament feeling LeBron James recently discussed.
James said he was happy to see his “brothers” in the arena and added he might want to try going to a few games himself. “I think it’s pretty cool. Hopefully throughout the course of this time we’re in the bubble, I can make it to a few games too,” he said.
“I love getting an opportunity to watch the game live, and you don’t have that much time throughout the course of a regular NBA schedule. It’s a pretty good dynamic.”
Lakers head coach Frank Vogel will certainly not oppose his players watching other live games in Orlando. He said earlier this month he would not dictate how they can spend their free time, especially as he thinks the bubble is “a basketball-only environment.”
Vogel surely knows he should not be imposing any more restrictions on his team considering the inconveniences the bubble creates by its nature. Lakers stars will not be able to see their loved ones for several weeks at the time of great uncertainty caused by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
LeBron counting blessings
James himself has reflected on life in the wake of the pandemic. And he said that while things in the bubble are far from normal, he focuses on relishing the positive aspects of it.
“We are in the land of the unknown,” James said. “Things are happening for the first time, so you just take it for what it is. Don’t take the moment for granted because (we) are still living and alive, and are back to doing what we love to do.
“Either covering the game, playing the game, watching the game, or being able to report the game. That is a blessing. You know, 2020 has been pretty [expletive], but we’re all blessed.”
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