I’m saying this from the start, I was skeptical about the NBA restart and the “NBA Bubble.” I was skeptical of players following the rules and not causing an outbreak. I was skeptical of players being able to stay healthy after such a long layoff. I was skeptical of the quality of play once the games resume. I was skeptical to players agreeing to the whole bubble plan. For that, I say – my bad.
The newly-completed NBA restart was nothing short of perfect. No one got COVID-19. The games were amazing. No live fans in the stands didn’t take away from the viewing experience. So, now I’m advocating for the NBA to NEVER LEAVE THE NBA BUBBLE, NEVER EVER.
5 Reasons The NBA Bubble Should Stay Forever
1. Games All Day Long
The best part of the NBA Bubble experience is the all-day games. From the moment you wake up until the moment you pass out, NBA games. Even if next season takes place in a two bubbles – one for the Western Conference and one for the Eastern Conference – there would need to be games all day . That means games to bet on, all day and all night. It would be like March Madness all season long.
2. Communal Viewing Experience
As odd as it sounds, being restricted to watching games at home and not at bars or a friend’s houses or in actual arenas offered a communal viewing experience. Look no further than SGPN’s Slack. The NBA channel was jumping during Bubble games. We all spent time commiserating and sometimes celebrating over our bets on the same game. In our streaming world, live sports is the one last communal viewing experience. With only a game or two going on simultaneously, we were all watching the same thing.
3. Well-Rested Players
The most impactful affect to the on-court product was the lack of travel. The typical NBA season is a grind. Players are constantly tired and jet-lagged from the non-stop travel. The NBA Bubble did away with all of that. Players golf-carted back to their rooms as soon as the final buzzer sounded. No more all-night flights and checking in to hotels when the sun is coming up. This allowed fresher, healthier players, and therefore, better play on the court, which is a win for everyone involved.
4. No Distractions
While it did a number on many of the players’ mental health, playing inside the NBA Bubble forced players to concentrate on basketball. No family issues. No wives asking them to take out the trash. That is, if NBA players actually take out their own trash. No “extracurricular” after hours entertainment. They were there to ball, period.
5. Shooter’s Paradise
The Ringer interview Devin Booker about the NBA Bubble and he said, “I feel like it’s a hooper’s gym. It’s easier to shoot in here with [better] depth perception.”
Stats show that the gyms at Disney really were a shooter’s paradise. Players nailed threes at much higher rates than expected, even in the Playoffs. This could be due to numerous factors: no distractions from fans, the lack of travel as mentioned above, the sameness of the court, game after game. Regardless of the reasons, players got on hot streaks never seen before and who isn’t a fan of that?
Unfortunately, the NBA Bubble Is A Pipe Dream
The NBA is going to be back in their home arenas as soon as possible. We can’t expect players to volunteer to be separated from their families – and, more importantly, quality strip club chicken wings – for an extended period of time. We can’t expect the billionaires to pass up on lucrative ticket sales. But a guy can dream.