Bubble Dribble: It ain’t easy staying green on NBA’s campus

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first_img“I’m going to have to kick you out,” she said. “The building just went yellow.”A quick explainer: There are tiers of access in the bubble, and “green” refers to the folks like myself who have gone through quarantine, are tested daily, and live on the NBA’s Disney campus. “Yellow” are people who live “outside” the bubble, and even though they may enter venues at the WWOS complex, the green tier is not meant to directly interact with them.This creates situations like what happened Saturday night: The nightly cleaning crew is yellow, and they generally give an hour for people to vacate the premises so they can carry out the NBA-mandated deep cleaning on courts, chairs and other surfaces. So when the building is “yellow,” everyone who is green has to get lost.There’s nothing anyone can do about this. This is one of the reasons why players don’t shower or have food available at the venues — after most games, players take long showers and enjoy catering. The teams quickly shuffle out to buses, with some players still slick with the sweat of the evening’s game. The NBA employees on site don’t have the power to delay the cleaning because their own protocols state that it has to be done, and the cleaners are paid by the hour.Even though the cleaning crew was technically kicking us out early, there was no argument to be made. All the reporters who had to write or shoot TV spots grabbed our bags and scuttled off to the bus, finishing our stories while riding back to the Coronado Springs Resort. This wasn’t even the first time this had happened to me. Editor’s note: This is the Monday Aug. 3 edition of the Purple & Bold Lakers newsletter from reporter Kyle Goon, who is among the few reporters with a credential inside the NBA bubble. To receive the newsletter in your inbox, sign up here.LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — Hitting tight deadlines after games can always be a bit of an adventure. In the bubble, however, factors totally beyond your control can make it even more fraught.Shortly after the Lakers’ 107-92 loss to the Toronto Raptors, I was striding back to the media seating (typically there’s a separate work room for media but not at the ESPN Wide World of Sports venues). I had written some about the game already, and was ready to add insights we had garnered from LeBron James, Anthony Davis, Kyle Kuzma and Frank Vogel. I had just under an hour to file — plenty of time on the clock.As I sat down at my laptop, full of adrenaline and purpose, one of the NBA’s staffers ran up and waved to grab my attention. Staying “green” is easy in the living areas of the Disney Campus, but it’s a bigger concern at the WWOS complex where the groups are more likely to intermingle. There are side-by-side walkways for people with yellow credentials and people with green credentials, with signs to mark the difference. Strangely, we eat meals in the same building attached to the Visa Athletic Center, just in separate rooms.I’ve had multiple conversations with yellow credentialed friends in the media from across the gate — but if we somehow made close contact, there’s a chance I could be put back into quarantine for the safety and integrity of the bubble.This manifests in more challenging ways to NBA staffers. While I was waiting for a practice to end recently, a medical staffer from a team approached me with a question: “Do you know the Green Route to the MRI?”I didn’t know the answer, but it’s a necessary preparation to make for teams lest a minor injury becomes a major quarantine concern..When players are hurt and staffers need the resources to determine how severe injuries are, not all of these things are in the venues. The wrong route to those buildings could unintentionally land an injured player and any accompanying staff member outside the bubble. Some injuries, like Rajon Rondo’s fractured thumb or Orlando forward Jonathan Isaac’s ACL rupture, require medical treatment outside the bubble, but the initial evaluation needs to be in a green zone to see if it’s serious enough to require outside help.One of my deep-seeded fears is that I’ll unintentionally wander into one of these zones — not for food pickup as some players have already learned — but perhaps not reading signage correctly, or accidentally bumping someone with a yellow credential in the places where our walkways intersect. While the risk to actually be exposed to coronavirus seems low in these situations, an inconclusive test to Jimmy Butler over the weekend heightened the NBA’s sensitivity that all protocols are followed. Memos were sent reinforcing mask wearing and distancing. Media is scheduled for a mandatory health and safety update later this week, presumably for the same purpose.The pressure to watch your step lest you venture into a yellow zone — and the pressure that you might have to pick up and leave your workspace on deadline — can be irritating. But it’s much less of an inconvenience than having to quarantine for another week. — Kyle GoonEditor’s note: Thanks for reading the Purple & Bold Lakers newsletter from reporter Kyle Goon, who is among the few reporters with a credential inside the NBA bubble. To receive the newsletter in your inbox, sign up here.In the Bubble“Is there a home court advantage here?” – If the Lakers finally clinch home court advantage tonight with a 1 seed, I took a stab at figuring out what that means when every game is in the bubble without fans.Bounced by the defending champs – The Raptors’ well-coordinated defense and the Lakers’ cold shooting spelled a loss on Saturday night (and I did make deadline, by the way).Keeping an eye ahead – The Lakers’ bench coaches can do something they never do in season: Scout opponents live.Tipping the cap to Kap – LeBron James said Colin Kaepernick was an inspiration to the NBA, which has largely knelt at games during the national anthem.More on the protests – Mirjam wrote about a stirring moment on Thursday night as the Lakers, Clippers and referees all knelt.Strong first effort – A late bucket and feisty defensive possession by LeBron tipped the scales for the Lakers against the Clippers.Still plenty of rivalry juice – While Staples Center is missed, the Lakers-Clippers rivalry still has juice, Jim Alexander writes.Basketball keeps its eye on the world – From our last newsletter: Just because the NBA is in a bubble doesn’t mean the people inside have stopped thinking about the people on the outside.center_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img

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