The coronavirus impacted the lives of so many people. For the sake of this piece, though, we’re focusing on the NBA Bubble timeline, hopefully highlighting just how strange a four months (and somewhat running) this has been for nearly everyone in the league.
NBA Bubble Timeline Preface
We won’t word vomit too much before getting into the piece, but it should be noted that we likely missed a few things here and there. Moreover, we’re trying to limit our thoughts to the most notable coronavirus alterations that shook the league as we know it.
Obviously, this entire fiasco for the NBA truly began when Rudy Gobert tested positive, but this is an NBA Bubble Timeline and not one that’s covering the entire outbreak from start to finish.
And with that, here we go.
March 11-25: League Shuts Down, Things Get Weird
March 11: Reports of the league shutting down become the first step toward the NBA Bubble. The league did, in fact, postpone the season on this date.
March 12: Draymond Green reacts to Utah Jazz players testing positive: “It’s one of those things where it doesn’t hit home until it hits home. The stuff that happened with the Jazz, honestly, just put everybody on alert. You’re thinking, ‘It won’t happen to me. It won’t happen to me. It can’t happen to me.’ Then it happens to someone in your same field. Someone you’re on the court with four times a year — and you’re playing against players he played against. To be honest, it makes me think about everybody who possibly could be affected that don’t necessarily have health care or enough resources to get through this.”
Like everyone else at the start, Mark Cuban wasn’t sure how the coronavirus works, but that didn’t prevent him from giving his take on the matter.
March 13: Possibly the biggest part of the NBA Bubble Timeline up until this point, if we’re going in chronological order, the reports of how Donovan Mitchell was taking Gorbert’s positive test, especially after Gobert fake-coughed at a presser (among other strange things).
March 14: Gobert gets sideswiped by the brother of Kevin Durant.
March 18: LeBron struggled with quarantine.
March 19: The NBA was still receiving payments from broadcast partners.
March 20: The 2020 Olympics begin to look like a pipe dream.
March 25: Mark Cuban is worried about how brands look during the coronavirus for some reason.
Adam Silver begins to get some praise for how he’s handling the situation.
March 26 – June 10
March 26: A tournament to get in the NBA Playoffs was kicked around.
Hindsight tells us otherwise, but Las Vegas was one of the first cities to emerge as a potential spot for an NBA Bubble.
March 27: Anthony Davis tries to help.
April 1: While not directly connected to the NBA, it does help to highlight how wild a time this was for our NBA Bubble timeline: For the first time since World War II, Wimbledon was canceled.
April 6: Some players begin to believe the NBA season will never restart.
April 13: What was meant to be a fun “HORSE” event to help people get some basketball in while the league was stagnant gets ripped to shreds by fans, other players and the media.
April 17: The NBA gets into the face mask business.
April 22: James Dolan donates his plasma!
April 24: Jaylen Brown emerges as an important voice of reason.
April 29: The Jenner-Kardashian family begin to make waves in the NBA for all the wrong reasons.
May 7: Some levity is brought to the situation after Lonzo Ball gets roasted for his weight lifting workout.
May 9: Shaq calls for Adam Silver to cancel the season.
May 10: The postponed season to have salary cap implications.
May 14: An, at the time, alleged split between regular players and NBA superstars emerge.
May 20: Disney World emerges as the “clear favorite” for an NBA Bubble.
NBA Bubble Timeline: Disney Here We Come
June 12: Players confused about the non-bubble that’s a bubble.
June 15: The Kyrie Irving “flip flop” drama begins.
June 19: Tampering reportedly expected at the NBA Bubble.
June 27: Concerns arise over an NBA season restart.
June 30: Stephen A. Smith begins to get worried about “horny players” honoring the NBA bubble.
July 9: Joel Embiid shows up to the NBA Bubble in a hazmat suit.
Damian Lillard compares the bubble to prison.
July 29: Michael Porter Jr. becomes MAGA Porter Jr?
The NBA Bubble showing promise the day before the season restart.
July 30: The Utah Jazz versus the New Orleans Pelicans officially restarted the NBA season, ending the four months of strangeness — though, obviously, even after the league returned to play, a variety of issues continued to pop up and the coronavirus (now more so known as COVID-19) pandemic never left.