What seemed like an outlandish idea that would look and feel awkward once it was a reality, the Orlando-based NBA bubble has been a surprise success. After a few weeks of isolation, the NBA has seen zero positive cases of the coronavirus inside the bubble.
The action on the court has looked clean on television, and for the most part, the players seem to be playing just as hard as they would be with 20,000 people in the stands. There's really no denying that the NBA deserves some sort of award for how well it has pulled off housing 22 teams in Orlando in the restart to the season. The NBA bubble looks and feels just about as good as anyone could have ever imagined.
It's also hilarious. There are so many aspects of the NBA bubble that have been pure comedy.
Having basketball back in our lives is great, but the laughs that have come with Real World NBA have been even better. Without further ado, here are the funniest aspects associated with the NBA bubble.
Virtual fans. In lieu of actual fans, the NBA has set up video screens surrounding the courts that, at times, display virtual fans cheering on the game just as they would if they were in their seats. In a twist that is never not funny, ex-NBA players and players' family members are popping up in the "stands."
Chris Bosh popped into one of the recent Heat games. As you can see above, it's just as hilarious as it sounds.
NBA coaches dressing normal. Somewhere along the way, it became NBA tradition for coaches to dress like they came straight to the court from their job on Wall Street. It never made sense, and post-NBA bubble it may be gone forever.
Unfortunately, not every coach looks as good in sweatpants and a gym shirt as Erik Spoelstra does. It's pretty clear why some want to wear a suit. They look like who they are: someone's dad coaching grown men to play a sport.
NBA players suddenly want all the massages. Family and friends are not permitted inside the NBA bubble. That means there are a lot of NBA players who are going longer without the touch of a woman than they have in years.
HAHA. Just kidding. No, they aren't. They're rich and found a loophole.
Massage therapists and trainers are allowed in the bubble, and suddenly, they all look like Sports Illustrated swimsuit models and Beyoncé back-up dancers. There will be a few tell-all books written about this bubble, and the massage therapists will take up a few chapters.
NBA players are basically at summer camp. Teammates are used to being around each other a lot during the season, but the NBA bubble has brought an entirely new level of togetherness. Players are posting photos of themselves playing kickball, Ping-Pong, cornhole, and a host of other games.
It's like everyone is ten years old again. And it's fantastic.
There is a "home team" in bubble games. Twenty years from now, the record will show the Miami Heat beat the Denver Nuggets on the road this past week. In reality, the Heat beat the Nuggets in Orlando in front of no fans.
So much about the bubble is weird, but the fact that there are still home and away games is right up there.
Meyers Leonard is the beer-chugging champion of the NBA bubble. Early on, before the real games started, the bubble was a bit like a trip to the Bahamas for the players. It was as if everyone got together for a players' vacation. Meyers Leonard dominated said vacation in the beer department.
Do not mess with "The Big Hammer" when it comes to chugging tallboys. You don't want that smoke.
NBA players are learning to fish at Disney World. With little else to do once the basketball portion of the day is complete, some players have introduced themselves to new activities to kill some time. Some have taken up golf, while others have learned how to fish.
Fishing outside your hotel on Disney grounds is not exactly going to appear on Shark Week. It's hilarious to watch, though.
"Vote 4 Millsap." The NBA is has allowed players to put a social-justice statement on their jerseys in place of their last names. While that's a great idea, with any good idea comes a few unforeseen issues that arise.
See "Vote 4 Millsap" above. Denver Nuggets player Paul Millsap wants people to get out and vote in the November election. His number also just happens to be 4, so the predictable hilarious thing happened.
Food shenanigans. The first few days in the NBA bubble were rough when it came to food. Players were posting pictures that looked like something out of the Fyre Fest disaster. Things have improved on the menu front, but that hasn't stopped players from doing their best to find better food.
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NBA players treat their bodies like normal people treat expensive cars. You can't blame them for pulling whatever trick is necessary to put the best fuel in themselves.
The NBA bubble barbershop. You can bet when all is said and done that the barbers stationed inside the NBA bubble will have some stories to tell. Players have been getting creative in the bubble, with not much else to do other than play ball and experiment with their looks.
LeBron James is a prime example of the NBA bubble barbershop not being what most players are used to. He's suddenly rocking a gray beard. Things are getting desperate as some of the older players are missing having access to their old bag of tricks.