Earlier this month, players from the 22 teams selected to finish out the 2019-2020 NBA season started arriving at Walt Disney World in Orlando, where all the games will be played. After a few weeks of training, the NBA will officially restart on July 31.
Thanks to social media, fans have enjoyed an inside look at daily life inside the "NBA bubble." Players have been blogging and posting updates on Twitter and Instagram, giving the public a glimpse into the daily coronavirus testing process, the heavily discussed food situation and how they stay busy in their downtime.
Some players have turned to YouTube to document their experience, including JaVale McGee of the Los Angeles Lakers.
In his first vlog, McGee gave a tour of his room in the Gran Destino Tower and unboxed the goody bag waiting for him. It included electronics (a bluetooth keyboard, portable speaker and Fire TV stick), cleaning products (hand sanitizer, Clorox wipes and a UV-Clean phone sanitizer), snacks (an assortment of chips, cookies and candies) and a handful of customized masks.
The package also included three books:
- "The Souls of Black Folk" by W. E. B. Du Bois, a collection of 14 essays on race.
- "City of Inmates" by Kelly Lytle Hernández, which explores how Los Angeles became the city that incarcerates more people than any other city in the U.S.
- "The Autobiography of Malcolm X", a collaboration between the human rights activist and journalist Alex Haley, who coauthored the book based on a series of interviews he did between 1963 and Malcolm X's assassination in 1965.
Players from the Brooklyn Nets, who are staying in the Grand Floridian (the 22 teams are split into three hotels), also reported receiving "The Autobiography of Malcolm X," plus the New York Times bestseller "Stamped: Racism, Anti-Racism and You" by Jason Reynolds and Ibram X. Kendi.
Before players arrived at Disney World, the NBA announced that it would provide wellness resources and social justice programming for players in the bubble and that it would make a point to use its platform to draw attention to social justice issues.
"A central goal of our season restart will be to utilize the NBA's platform to bring attention and sustained action to issues of social injustice, including combating systemic racism, expanding educational and economic opportunities across the Black community, enacting meaningful police and criminal justice reform and promoting greater civic engagement," the NBA wrote in a memo to teams ahead of the season restart.
Players are also using their personal platforms to keep social justice at the forefront during the restart.
Mike Scott of the 76ers is staying focused on "justice for Breonna Taylor" during all of his interviews with the media.
NBA superstar LeBron James has also used his media time to speak up about racial injustice in America.