Early quarantine ruined a LOT of things for me, and sports was one of them. Stuck in the house with two younger brothers, an athletic sister, and my sports junkie father having NOTHING to watch on ESPN was horrible. That was until the NBA had the genius idea of continuing their season in a virtual bubble. A virtual bubble that would be held at Walt Disney World in Orlando. Now, I won’t lie, I was VERY skeptical at first. I mean, why in the world would you take these teams to FLORIDA??? Hello, we know that Florida is literally the basement of America, literally the weirdest state in the country, not to mention that COVID-19 cases were spiking upon teams’ arrivals. I thought the whole thing would be a bust after the first week, but they proved me wrong.
The NBA took the pandemic seriously and they were not playing when it came to enforcing rules to keep everyone safe and healthy. Players weren’t allowed to leave the bubble for any reason, like at all, and if a player did leave they would get fined. They had players tested every single day...I know, those tubes up your nose every day, ouch, but wow. They did everything they could to ensure the safety of players as well as staff, and it all paid off. The NBA Bubble concluded the rest of its season after 3 months, with ZERO COVID-19 cases. Safe to say that every single sporting organization should learn from them and take notes, hint hint.
Now that I’ve given y’all a little run down of this entire thing, let’s get into the real tea...and talk about how the Los Angeles Lakers took the title home! Quick disclaimer, I was not a Lakers fan before. I loved Kobe, I really liked Shaq, but I never was a Lakers fan. That was until LeBron decided to head over to LA. Yes...I will follow LeBron wherever he goes, and what about it...who gon’ check me?
Now, don’t come for me, I know I grew up outside of Philly, I go to college in Philly, so I should’ve been rooting for the Sixers. Don’t get me wrong, I was rooting for them, but let’s just say the best thing to come out of that organization as Matisse’s bubble vlogs. I won’t even discuss their playoff performance, cause it’s already upsetting me just typing about it (Seriously, I’m like banging my keyboard, my mom’s looking at me crazy). It’s okay though, SIXERS NBA CHAMPS 2021! (lol God please hear my cries, I wanna party on Broad Street).
Let’s not forget about the Denver Nuggets! I mean, they really showed out, who comes back from two 3-1 deficits?!?! Of course, they couldn’t get past the Lakers and make it to the finals, but they deserve hella credit for what they pulled off in the bubble. I can’t wait to see them kill it next season.
Of course, I can’t discuss the playoffs without mentioning the Miami Heat. I personally wasn’t rooting for them, but the rest of my family was (except mom, we love LeBron over here). Jimmy freaking Butler, if only he stayed in Philly :( but WOW he absolutely put on a show during the playoffs. Not gonna lie, he and the rest of the Heat scared me a little when they won Game 5 of the Finals. Can’t forget Tyler Herro was out there doing the damn thing at age 20… while I’m sitting writing about him, haha we love to see it. After these playoffs I’m officially a big fan of his and can’t wait to see where he goes from here cause his NBA future is bright.
Alright back to the Lakers… the actual champions, duh! They were able to win the title in Game 6 after destroying the Heat, I’m talking a 64-36 lead at the half...yeah crazy! After the year we’ve had, the loss of Kobe, social justice issues and 2020 as a whole, I was more than happy that LeBron James led the Lakers to win the title and also became MVP. We could get into the GOAT debate, butttttt I’m not ready to argue with anyone, so we’ll pass on that today. You’re welcome.
This bubble season really set the tone for next season. Teams were coming out hot in the bubble, and I NEED to see that in the upcoming season, whenever that is.
Until then, I’m just waiting for my Zoom invite to the Lakers parade. Don’t worry, I’ll change my background from my bedroom to the Staples Center to really fit in. Catch y’all next season! :)