LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla.
The bubble hasn’t burst.
And the finish line is in sight.
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver acknowledges that he had doubts if this was even possible. So did many players. Racial injustice protests were happening around the country and coronavirus positivity rates were skyrocketing in Florida when the NBA moved into Walt Disney World — the league calls it a campus, everyone else calls it a bubble — three months ago. It wasn’t a stretch to think it was only a matter of time before trouble started.
Never happened. The NBA got the games in and kept the virus out. Players managed to find a balance between what they felt were their basketball obligations and social responsibilities.
This season, a year that was longer than a year and difficult in almost every imaginable way, is nearing an end; the Los Angeles Lakers have a 3-1 lead in the NBA Finals over the Miami Heat, with a potential title-clincher in Game 5 coming Friday night.
“The job’s not done,” Lakers forward LeBron James said.
He’s right, on many levels. The NBA came here to crown a champion; that hasn’t happened yet. Players came here to use their platform to fight against racial inequality and voter suppression; those efforts continue. And the coronavirus pandemic rages on; no end in sight there, either.
Outside the bubble, problems reign.
Inside the bubble, things are not perfect. It has not been easy. Often, it was not fun.
But it worked.
“I wanted everybody to have perspective on how