NBA Bubble Life

A bloody resort.

Jim Rome
July 21, 2020 - 9:34 am
J.R. Smith

USA Today


The NBA announced yesterday that coronavirus tests of 346 players in the bubble since July 13th have returned zero positive results. That is good. There is still a lot to be done and the bubble needs to hold for three more months, but that is really good news.

Its good news for the league and its good news for the bubble, which a few weeks in, seems to be okay. Sure, Rajon Rondo glossed the hotel a “motel 6” a few weeks back and there are the proximity monitors that everyone has to wear which make a sound when you’re within six feet of another person.

And then starts blinking red if you’re within six feet of a person for five seconds. And plays a tune if you’re near a person for 10 seconds. That will probably get old at some point.

But for right now, let’s do a quick whip around for an update on everyone. LeBron James met with the media yesterday and he was very philosophical about life in the bubble.

“It’s 2020. Nothing is normal in 2020. Nothing seems as is and who knows if it will ever go back to the way it was.”

Life has changed. Life is different. Change is the new normal. And may never be the way it once was. And you have to roll with it. That is a very good outlook to have as you start life in the bubble.

OKC’s Steven Adams also spoke with the media. And before I play this, you know how Steven Adams rolls and you know pretty much what his approach to the bubble will be, but I’m guessing him throwing a geopolitical reference at you was not something you expected.

“We’re living in a bloody resort” is one hell of a line. And I totally respect his approach. I don’t want to get too carried away, though, because as great as it would be to live in a bloody resort, it is distinctly possible that after a few months of living in a bloody resort, guys will get tired of that bloody resort.

LeBron and Adams were great. But they’re also doing official media, sitting in front of official team backdrops. What about the guys who aren’t doing official media? What about the unfiltered, raw view of life in the bubble?

What I’m saying is…what about JR Smith? Well, funny you should ask. Because earlier in the bubble, JR hopped on Instagram and he had thoughts about the bed covering option he was presented in Orlando.

If you thought “We’re living in a bloody resort” was a good line, “Look at the blanket, bro” is next level. And it’s not just the line, it’s the delivery. The disgust. The disdain. The disappointment. Look at the blanket, bro.

Like, would you just freaking look at this blanket? Look at it! Airplane blankets can’t believe how whack this blanket is. And I’m not going to just sit here and let anyone, disrespect me. Ever. For any reason. And the league is disrespecting me with this blanket.

And he’s not wrong. Obviously, it’s not Syria. It is a bloody resort. But is a pretty pathetic blanket. It’s apparently small, that’s his primary beef. Hence the reference to the fact that a big guy like Anthony Davis isn’t using it.

The blanket is also blue, shiny, with what appears to be a fleece lining, and the NBA logo on the corner. Why is there an NBA logo on the blanket? Better yet, why is there a blanket at all? What is the point of the blanket…in Florida…in the middle of July?

Are there not enough blankets on the beds that they have to supplement with more blankets? Is it a gift? What is it? Was it part of an NBA gift bag?  If so, what else was in it: an iPhone 4.

And he wasn’t done. He had more thoughts about the blanket and how it was going to impact people.

I know Bron ain’t got this. I know Bron and AD aren’t using this little ass blanket, bro.

And he wasn’t HYPED with the snacks in the room, either. He flipped the camera around to reveal the blanket, now covered in snacks like chips, Skittles, Twix, Starburst, Snickers, Swedish Fish, Famous Amos, and more. The whole gang was there. And for some, that would HAVE BEEN THE BEST DAY EVER. For JR, that was hell and damn near a reason to go.

"We're professional athletes and all that. ... But, then you be over there crying talking about somebody can't stay healthy and their body is breaking down and all this other bleep? You wanna motherbleeping Ferrari to run like a Ferrari cause you paid for it as a Ferrari ... But you keep gassing it up with Chrysler bleep."

I get it. Motherbleeping Ferraris can’t be running on that Chrysler bleep.

But JR wasn’t all negative when it came to the food. He also checked out the menu, and he liked what he saw. No, he loved what he saw.

Okayyyy. Braised beef short ribs? Damn! Cheesecake! Crème Brulee! That is so rigggghhhhtttt. And JR Smith livestreaming from the bubble was so right. And it’s so wrong that he apparently was told by higher ups that he had to shut it down. That’s terrible. THAT’S SOOO WRONG. 

That’s the worst decision ever. Let the man stream! And let the people hear him. Because JR with a camera in Orlando is some of the most entertaining bleep in a long time. That’s some motherbleeping Ferrari entertainment. Don’t give us Chrysler bleep.