The 2019-20 NBA season has certainly been one of the strangest in the league’s history. The league was forced to pause the season back in mid-March and finish off the regular season and postseason in a bubble. And while the NBA has been successful with zero positive COVID-19 tests being recorded in the bubble, one NBA legend isn’t exactly the biggest fan of watching the games be decided in a neutral locaion.
In an interview with Business Insider, former Chicago Bulls star Scottie Pippen said he thinks that the NBA bubble is basically “pickup” basketball. Here’s his entire statment:
“Well, I’m going to be honest. It’s not NBA basketball. It’s not the hard grind. It’s not the travel. It’s not the fans. It’s not the distractions. Really, to me, it’s pickup basketball. It’s going to the gym. Yeah, you already got your team. Y’all practicing together. But it’s a more of a pickup type of basketball game, because there’s no fans in the stands. So there is no distraction. There’s no real noise. There’s no pressure on the players, you know. Prime example: I looked at Rondo. Rondo ain’t made three pointers in his whole NBA career. Now, all of a sudden, he’s in a bubble, he’s probably a 50% three point shooter. I haven’t even checked the stats.”
Pippen’s claim about Rondo’s three-point shooting in the bubble is correct. During this postseason, the Los Angeles Lakers guard is shooting 44.8 percent from beyond the arc, which is quite an uptick from his 31.6 percent shooting percentage from three over his 14-year NBA career.
The Bulls legend isn’t the only NBA legend who has bashed the bubble recently.
Kevin Garnett criticized the bubble concept in an interview with Complex, saying he believes that his NBA era couldn’t have played in a bubble setting.
“To be honest y’all, we could never play in the bubble,” Garnett said. “You know how much I’ve been screaming during your shot ‘Get that shit out of here’? You could’ve heard me in here. Man they’d of had a bunch of censors. Couldn’t have all these cameras, you know, players walking around naked…all type thing. That’s a different league. We were men, yo.”
The NBA bubble certainly isn’t the ideal scenario to finish out the season by any means. However, the level of play has been very high and two great teams are slated to face off in the NBA Finals in the Los Angeles Lakers and Miami Heat, whether Pippen and Garnett like it or not.
Courtesy: CBS Sports