LeBron James hinted at some problems off the court earlier in the week with some cryptic comments to Joe Vardon of The Athletic.
“It’s just some things that you can’t control that’s here, that I really don’t want to talk about, that’s off the floor,” James said.
To be fair, James’ comments could mean a variety of things. But Lakers head coach Frank Vogel stoked the fire a bit more when he spoke to reporters on Sunday.
“I have that concern that it could flare up. We have had a tight-knit group, but any group of people who spend too much time together, there’s a risk of that,” Vogel said of possible off-court issues. “But we have a great sprit in this group. It hasn’t been a problem yet, and I don’t anticipate it being a problem, but it is something I thought about.”
Asked if he mandates the players spend time apart, Vogel said: “I have not — I have thought about it though.”
Lakers Veteran Danny Green Weighs in On Bubble Trouble
Lakers veteran Danny Green was also asked about off-court issue happening in the bubble, both with his team and others. He admitted, things have heated up a bit.
“You see guys getting less patient with each other. That’s another challenge and obstacle you have to fight through,” Green said. “Being in this type of atmosphere around each other all the time and trying to get the chemistry right. And not having the escape you normally have or the outlets you usually have right there for you. The mental aspect of it only gets tougher and tougher each day.”
Green said that guys have their escapes in Orlando, like fishing, golfing or bowling. But it doesn’t make up for the lack of normal support systems players have during a regular season, like their friends and families.
“You can kind of see the tension,” Green said. “You see guys going back and forth in the games and on social media. … You can see day by day, it’s kind of wearing on guys, and guys get kind of antsy and are wondering when can they bring their families here. Who can they bring? And how many people? Just kind of counting down the days for that to happen.”
JaVale McGee Says He’s Getting ‘Cabin Fever’ in Bubble
The Lakers arrived in the bubble one month ago and if they want to make a deep playoff run, it’ll be quite a while longer.
“It definitely adds up over time,” Lakers center JaVale McGee said. “You get a little cabin fever, I feel like, just being in the same place doing the same things every day with no variation. But it’s necessary for the goal in hand, which is to win an NBA championship.”
There’s also the issue of the games being different with no fans, something the Lakers are still adjusting to.
“You have to really love basketball to be here,” LeBron James said after the Lakers loss to the Pacers on Saturday. “Because there’s no extra motivation, you know, as far as that you get or the excitement from the crowd and things of that nature. You have to really love the game and love the work and be able to lock in on your craft.”