The NBA is Bubble-licious

The NBA is Bubble-licious

  • Anthony Davis
  • Kawhi Leonard
  • Lebron James
  • Los Angeles Clippers
  • Los Angeles Lakers
  • NBA
  • New Orleans Pelicans
  • Paul George
  • Rudy Gobert
  • Utah Jazz
By Nick Holz August 1, 2020 0 Comment

With one minute and fourteen seconds left on the clock in the 4th quarter, Lebron Raymone James sizes up and blows past JaMychal Green, lowering his shoulder and powering his way to the hoop for a bucket. The NBA’s third All-Time scorer has made this move a thousand times before. This time, it’s just different. NBA basketball is back, and it may be better than ever.

Viewers can hear the coaches screaming from the sidelines. Doc Rivers vivaciously admonishes his team for their poor defensive rotation. Even in their first game back, anything less than excellence will not be tolerated.

However, the Los Angeles Clippers are no longer the butt of an old joke. Paul George answers, hitting a clutch three to tie the game with under a minute left.

But, the King can’t be stopped. As time ticks down, Lebron muscles his way towards the basket and throws up an awkward runner. No good. He then, somehow, wills his way to his own rebound and flicks in the game-winning score. The virtual crowd goes wild!

Such is life in this new NBA bubble. Lebron James, suddenly the star of his own Jake Gyllenhaal movie. In 2020, “iso” has a whole new meaning.

The National Basketball Association could hardly ask for a finer beginning to its restart. Now operating from ESPN’s Wide World of Sports Complex in Orlando, professional basketball hopes to bring some joy for long quarantined fans throughout the world. The show last night did not disappoint.

Young Pelicans come up just short

If its first two games are any indication, basketball fans are in for one wild ride. The Utah Jazz-New Orleans Pelicans match-up promised explosive highlights, and the return of Zion Williamson. Ultimately, the NBA’s newest phenom came up short in his bubble debut. Naturally, the Pelicans remain extremely cautious with the future royal’s minutes.

Predictably, there was some rust. However, the Pelicans and Jazz battled back and forth, right down to the final seconds. Jazz star Donovan Mitchell struggled for much of the contest, but came alive in the fourth, scoring eight of the team’s final ten points. “Spiderman” delivered in the clutch.

In a Shakespearean turn of events, the man who sent the NBA into COVID enforced chaos, Ruby Gobert, hit two free-throws to win the game for the Jazz. Gobert, the French tower of defense, scored the bubble’s first points, and eventually cemented the win for his team. Villainized by even some of this own teammates for the past four months, Gobert returns as the hero. Simply poetic.

Basketball a shining light in these dark times

Prior to tip-off of each contest, players, coaches, and referees alike took a knee in solidarity during the national anthem. With plenty of excitement for the spectacle itself, the NBA made it clear that there are far bigger issues in the world off the court. An outstanding introductory video shed further light on the Black Lives Matter movement.

Basketball is back, and Lebron will vie with the likes of Kawhi Leonard, Giannis Antentokoumpo, and James Harden for the Larry O’Brien trophy. Nonetheless, as the league has reiterated, nothing will overshadow the battle for social justice that continues throughout the bubble and around the world.

Watching the NBA’s return to action almost brings about a sense of normalcy to fans. Lebron is dominating, Zion is flying high, and…Dion Waiters is playing quality minutes for a championship contender? What year is it again? “Aye Lebron, which one on our team?”

In all seriousness, Adam Silver and the NBA have done a fantastic job. Silver and his team have somehow found a way to bring their product to sports starved fans across the globe. All while seemingly maintaining the health and safety of all those involved. The NBA’s strategy was always the most likely to be successful, and their ability to pull off the the seemingly impossible, so far, should be applauded. Other major sports leagues, looking at you MLB, should take note.

Hubba-Bubble.

Embed from Getty Images

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