Players who are still active in the NBA’s playoffs have now been in the league’s so-called bubble environment for more than two months and it is easy to see that as a hardship worthy of some sympathy. At least, that is, until you get a look inside the hotel suite of Lakers star LeBron James.
To celebrate the opening of the NFL season on Sunday, James gave a peek inside his room on the Disney World campus of the NBA restart and, simply put, it does not appear that he is making all that much of a sacrifice in pursuit of an NBA championship in Florida. The Lakers have advanced to the Western Conference finals, where they await the winner of the Nuggets-Clippers conference semifinals Game 7.
On Instagram, James posted a video of three screens, all showing NFL football—one on a big-screen television on a wall in his suite’s living area, one on his laptop, and another above a small kitchen area stocked with paper towels, bottles of water and what appears to be around 18 open bottles of red wine on the floor.
In another video posted on Monday, James’ room also looked palatial.
LeBron James Has Lodged Complaints About Playing the Bubble
Certainly, there is nothing wrong with James showing off his living arrangements down in Lake Buena Vista. But what is a little odd is the way that James has complained about life in the bubble throughout this NBA reset, which was something he had pushed to make a reality as far back as May when he convened a call among some of the league’s top players, hoping to get them to unify behind returning to play this year.
But James has had his share of troubles when it comes to the bubble, on and off the court. Even before he got to the bubble in mid-July, he was getting backlash for comparing leaving for Orlando to going to prison. “S*** felt like I’m headed to do a bid man!” he wrote on Twitter.
Twitter, as it so often does with regrettable past statements, reminded him of that comment.
And, of course, Twitter had jokes.
Back on August 9, James expressed his disdain for the reality of having to play without fans in the stands, something he has not done in a serious game, he said, since very early in his high school career, about 20 years ago.
“I am getting more and more used to being out there,” James told reporters at the time. “It’s a very weird dynamic. I haven’t played in an empty gym in a very, very long time. It’s been a very long time since no one has been watching me play the game. I’m just trying to find that rhythm and lock in.”
Ten days after that, James was talking about the time off the Lakers had after their final seeding game (August 13) and their first playoff game (August 18). Just about all James could do, besides play basketball, was to be bored.
“What I did was absolutely nothing,” he said. “There’s nothing to do here besides play basketball.”
LeBron James: ‘Numerous Nights & Days Thinking About Leaving the Bubble’
James, of course, was a central figure in the three-day NBA player boycott to protest the shooting of Jacob Blake in Wisconsin in late August, when he became so aggravated with the lack of direction on the part of Bucks players who had unilaterally decided to sit out a playoff game without informing other players that he indicated he was ready to scrap the whole bubble restart and return home. Further negotiations, though, defused that incident.
In the wake of that night, James said he is always thinking about bolting from the bubble.
“I’ve had numerous nights and days thinking about leaving the bubble,” James told reporters on August 30. “I think everyone has, including you (media) guys. I’m just saying there, is not one person who hasn’t had a mind to say, ‘I’ve got to get the hell out of here.’”
Maybe so. But if James is prepared to bolt from that luxurious suite, surely there will be plenty of guests eager to take his place.