Lakers News: LeBron James Likens NBA Bubble To AAU Tournament
Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

As players continue to get accustomed to life in the bubble environment at Walt Disney World for the 2019-20 NBA season restart, the presence of Los Angeles Lakers All-Star LeBron James has not gone unnoticed.

Although James was relishing the extended time off with his family during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, he has now embraced the challenge of maintaining the team camaraderie under the new circumstances. Of course, his Lakers teammates are not the only ones adjusting to essentially living with a superstar of his status.

Boston Celtics’ Kemba Walker recently noted how much James is at home in the setting that has several teams staying in the same resort. For many players, the situation is reminiscent of when they were starting their journeys to the NBA.

James has been in the limelight since he was still a teenager and his lifestyle remained centered around basketball in his 17th NBA season. He admitted coming back under the circumstances following a prolonged hiatus has brought back some familiar memories.

“When the season was suspended, I got an opportunity to be home with my family. For the last four months, probably since I would say my freshman year of high school — I think that was our last year of not traveling across America and around the world to play the game of basketball — it was the first time I really got an opportunity to have extended time at home with my family,” James recalled.

“Other than that, I’ve been traveling since I was 15 years old. Just to have that every day seeing my wife, seeing my kids, being home, being present, that was a blessing. Having this experience, it feels like a big AAU tournament for grown men.

“You take it, you enjoy it and we get to do what we love to do, and that’s play the game of basketball and be with our teammates and brothers. It’s all good.”

James’ comments are indicative of some of the bittersweet elements that have come with the season restart. The time off may have allowed him to recharge the his battery at home, however, the new conditions provide a nice reminder of how far he has have come since his days on the AAU circuit.

Quinn Cook praises LeBron

James’ efforts in establishing strong team chemistry is one of the biggest strengths for the Lakers in a peculiar and challenging season. Not much has changed since taking part in the amenities the resort has to offer with his teammates.

Quinn Cook offered up heavy praise for James’ maintaining his outgoing approach in the bubble. “He’s pretty much been the same ‘Bron here that he’s always been,” Cook said.

“Very outgoing, speaks to everybody, not just his team. Speaks to everybody in the league, security guards, everybody. A guy of that stature, a guy with that type of platform, doesn’t have to do that. But he makes everyone feel special.

“He’s always been the same since I’ve known him. Cares about everyone and one of the hardest workers you’ll ever see. He’s setting the tone for us not only on the court but off the court.”

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