Life inside the NBA bubble in Orlando is trying, even for someone with LeBron James' stature. After the Lakers finished off the Blazers in the first round of the NBA playoffs on Saturday night, James admitted to media members that he has frequently thought about leaving the bubble since he initially arrived in early July. Having to compete for an NBA title while simultaneously advocating for social justice, all while being away from his family for an extended amount of time, has clearly tested James' mental fortitude.
"I've had numerous nights and days thinking about leaving the bubble," James said. "I think everyone has. I don't think there's one person that has not had a mind that said 'oh, I've got to get the hell out of here.' ... It probably crosses my mind once a day. For sure."
You can see James' comments below, via Ben Golliver of the Washington Post:
Lakers’ LeBron James on whether he was ready to leave bubble after Bucks refused to play: “I’ve had numerous nights & days thinking about leaving. I think everyone has, including you (media) guys. There’s not 1 person who hasn’t (thought), “I’ve got to get the hell out of here.’” pic.twitter.com/qKIZzlzRp1— Ben Golliver (@BenGolliver) August 30, 2020
This isn't really a shocking admission from James. The future Hall of Famer has previously referred to bubble life as a "huge challenge."
"I miss the hell out of my family," James said earlier this month. "My wife, my kids, my mother, and so on, and so on. So, it's a huge challenge."
James has been in the NBA since 2003. He has played for three different franchises and during the course of his lengthy playing career, he has won championships, lost championships and won gold medals. He has experienced a league lockout, and played under a couple of commissioners. In other words, James has pretty much seen it all when it comes to life in the league. However, even James hasn't experienced anything like playing inside of a "bubble" during a global pandemic.
"It's a totally different situation than any other situation I've been in in my career," James said of the bubble. "So this is all a learning experience for all of us, and we're going to take it day by day, continue to work our habits either out on the floor, during the film session, when we able to get on the floor as well. But this is a totally different season, a totally different, drastic situation for all of us, including myself."
While adapting to life inside the bubble has been an adjustment for James, he appreciates the platform it has provided for players to continue to speak out on social justice issues that are important to them.
"It's given us the opportunity to every single day speak about, feel passionate about, whatever is going on in your personal life, whatever is going on in society and us trying to make a change," James said. "It's being dynamic and being heard."
With his Lakers poised to make a deep postseason run, James could end up being inside the Disney bubble through October. The good news for James, though, is that the league plans to allow a limited number of family members to join players in Orlando after the first round of the playoffs is in the books. So for James, a reunion with his family is on the horizon. If that weren't the case though, perhaps James would have already given in to his internal urges to leave the bubble.