Kyle Kuzma hit a go-ahead three-pointer in a Monday clash with the Denver Nuggets. Fake crowd noise erupted as Lakers filled the court to give daps, some socially distanced some not so much. And for a brief second, there was normalcy.
I can’t imagine how it is to be a professional athlete in the bubble right now, attempting to get up for every game with the same fervor as if you were about to play in front of thousands, not being able to hug your family, getting used to the confines of resort life and making it home.
All because we want to be entertained.
Well, the NBA players are making the best of an odd situation, bringing levity to the ludicrous setting.
The Lakers are doing what they can to manage on-court chemistry and playing to TV cameras and virtual fans.
“I am getting more and more used to being out there. It’s a very weird dynamic. I haven’t played in an empty gym in a very, very long time,” LeBron James said recently.
The Lakers are trying to take the edge off an unsettling situation. And the cure for homesickness seems to be making the bubble resemble college dorms.
For example, the championship contender is making sure there is no let-up in competitive juices, launching a Madden tournament that somewhat lacks in the parity department.
Showtime is taking place on the virtual gridiron, and the King is running away with it along with Quinn Cook.
Most of the talent is out of the west. In the east, whether by hazing or just a complete letdown from the Vikings, Talen Horton-Tucker is blowing it and still doesn’t have a win.
LeBron Wire’s Erik Garcia Gunderson explains you can always turn things around though: “Anthony Davis, who started 1-3, has improved to a 3-4 record as the Baltimore Ravens.”
It’s not all Madden, the Lakers are finding other ways to unwind. And they are doing it mostly thanks to the hospitality and suite life of Anthony Davis.
Yahoo! Sports Chris Haynes reports the Lakers have largely settled on Davis’ room for party central.
“The team has gathered there to watch the popular 'Verzuz' rap battles between Snoop Dogg and DMX, and 2 Chainz and Rick Ross, and to hold its Madden tournament,” Haynes writes.
Davis tells Yahoo! Sports that he wouldn’t mind the team going to another room but explained he wasn’t holding his breath.
We all know what it’s like. Friends gravitate to that one room that just feels extra comfortable. Pizza boxes begin to mount; people show up at all hours unannounced. Davis is running the equivalent of a freshman dorm party. And it might be just what’s needed for the playoff push.
“I’m one of the few who has a suite and I’m the tech guy of the team who knows how to set up all the devices and connect them to the TV,” Davis explained to Yahoo Sports. “LeBron [James] is a big Snoop Dogg fan and actually a big DMX fan, and so my room made sense. It started with that and then we just kept it going from there.”
On Monday, Kuzma went back to the locker room after hitting the game-winner. A team stuck in a bubble like so many other teams was lit, pouring water on Kuzma as if it were champagne.
In the bubble, you take what normalcy you can get when you can get it.