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The NBA bubble: Serious circumstances filled with humour

The NBA will resume play on July 30th, and the first game will feature the league's newest supers...

Other Sports

The NBA bubble: Serious circumstances filled with humour

The NBA will resume play on July 30th, and the first game will feature the league's newest superstar, Zion Williamson.

The Pelicans take on the Utah Jazz, two weeks from today, and fans will also be treated to a mouthwatering battle for LA supremacy, between the Lakers' and the Clippers, the following night.

Each team will play eight regular-season games before the play-offs begin. The Eastern Conference playoffs spots are more or less locked in, with the exception of the final slot.

That final slot will be tightly contested by the Brooklyn Nets, the Orlando Magic, and the Washington Wizards.

There will be nine teams representing the Eastern Conference sequestered in Orlando, Florida, more commonly known as the NBA bubble.

The Western Conference playoff picture is a little more crowded.

13 teams will represent the Western Conference in Orlando.

Currently, the Dallas Mavericks and the Memphis Grizzlies occupy the final playoff positions, however, anyone from Portland (9th position), to the Phoenix Suns (13th position), could vault themselves into the top eight.

There has been a lot of serious discussion within players' circles about whether the league should be returning in the midst of the Black Lives Matter movement.

Some have voiced concerns about how safe it was to set up in Disneyland, and what it could do to players mental health long-term.

Florida is currently experiencing an exceptional surge in coronavirus cases.

Avery Bradley has opted out due to family concerns. Others, like Russell Westbrook, were struck down by the coronavirus before entering Orlando.

Westbrook will now have to self-isolate before joining his Houston Rockets teammates at a later stage.

The majority of players have decided to play, and so have entered the bubble.

It has brought a number of comedic incidents, that look like they will continue.

The first scandal surrounded the food being served at Disneyland.

JR Smith was ordered to end a live-stream he had started wherein he complained vociferously about the copious amounts of sweets provided to the athletes.

There were other complaints about the lunches and dinners provided, however, this was largely blown out of proportion, according to The Athletic's Joe Vardon

Rockets Head Coach, Mike D'Antoni acknowledged that the food was "a little rough" to begin with but improved drastically in the ensuing days.

The organisation won't test athletes for recreational drugs while in the bubble, leading to speculation that some may occupy the significant downtime by relaxing

That would seem to explain the need for the mountain of treats provided to NBA players by Disney.

The NBA has been applauded in the past for its support for social justice campaigns under current league commissioner, Adam Silver.

Some players will wear jerseys with various messages supporting BLM in Orlando, while others like Lebron James will try to use the platform of the playoffs to support social justice in America in other ways.

"I actually didn't go with a name on the back of my jersey. It was no disrespect to the list that was handed out to all the players. I commend anyone that decided to put something on the back of their jersey. It's just something that didn't really resonate with my mission, with my goal," James told ESPN.

James has a long history of supporting social justice causes, throughout his storied career. One can assume he will continue to highlight the issue of racial injustice in his own manner in the bubble, and thereafter.

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LeBron James NBA Playoffs Zion Williamson