Los Angeles Lakers players have made it clear that while they are thrilled to be back playing competitive basketball, the Orlando bubble is an experience like no other.
Anthony Davis previously said the NBA restart would be as much — or more — a mental challenge as a physical one, forcing players to make numerous routine adjustments and mindset changes.
LeBron James recently touched on how the four-month hiatus gave him the chance to spend some more time with his family for the first time since his freshman year of high school. But now that he will not be able to see his loved ones for weeks due to player guest rules, James has decided to make a big adjustment by suspending his ritual social media blackout for the playoffs.
He dubbed the practice “Zero Dark Thirty-23.” In previous years, James would announce around the start of the NBA playoffs that he was taking a break from social media to avoid distractions while the title challenge was heating up. He named the custom after the Columbia Pictures movie “Zero Dark Thirty.”
But as this NBA season is everything but normal, the Lakers All-Star’s phone will not be cast away in Orlando either.”I won’t be turning my phone off during this run; I can’t afford to,” James said.
“I have to continue to check in on my family every single day. Checking in with my mom, making sure everything is still going well. So I can’t afford to do that and just lose direct contact with everybody, but I’ll be as locked in as I can be under the circumstances. I won’t cheat my teammates, I won’t cheat our fans and I won’t cheat myself. I’ll be ready to go.”
James additionally mentioned the bubble experiment will most likely be the longest period of time spent away from his family, topping Olympic Games trips that lasted about a month. And while a video chat cannot replace physical presence, it helps maintaining communication.
“You can’t replicate that because I’m not there,” James said. “But Savannah is a beast at what she does. That’s controlling the home and being a rock for our family.
“You definitely have that ‘miss’ factor, where you miss your family, miss your kids and things of that nature. I thank Steve Jobs a lot and the team at Apple for having FaceTime. That’s a beautiful thing to have, especially during times like this.”
Same ole ‘Bron
The circumstances in and around the Orlando bubble are certainly extraordinary. But Lakers guard Quinn Cook said that James and his influence on and off the court have not changed.
“He’s pretty much been the same ‘Bron here that he’s always been. Very outgoing, speaks to everybody, not just his team. Speaks to everybody in the league, security guards, everybody,” Cook said.
“A guy of that stature, a guy with that type of platform, doesn’t have to do that. But he makes everyone feel special.”
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