“We're pissed off !!! “: There are those who are bored, as Orlando's full-back Evan Fournier shouts, and those who come to life in the golden bubble of Disney World, where NBA players will resume the season on Thursday.  It's been almost three weeks since the stars of the Orange Ball have taken up residence in the luxurious ESPN World wide Sport complex.
The delegations of the 22 teams, approximately 35 people, including players, are staying in three hotels. Away from his family, each remained in quarantine in his room for the first 48 hours, the time to undergo two negative tests for Covid-19, before being authorized to reconnect with his microcosm.
Aware of the void to be filled in apart from training sessions and friendlies, the League provided players with activities almost 24 hours a day.
A concierge service allows them to reserve access to swimming pools, golf courses, tennis courts. tennis… to rent bikes. Video games or card rooms have been set up. So many possibilities also offered via an application specially developed to make their life at Mickey's house easier and also allow them to have food delivered.
The question of meals quickly fueled discussions. Disgruntled players like Joel Embiid (76ers) did not hesitate to show pictures of their meal trays during the imposed quarantine. Others said they were satisfied, like Myers Leonard (Miami) showing off his Mickey-shaped waffles.
– Cornhole, swimming pool, beers –
From now on, they are entitled to meals prepared in collaboration with their staff and dieticians, bringing them back to relative normality. “There's just no duck at dinner because Boris Diaw doesn't do the menus,” Evan Fournier joked on Twitter.
“If we're talking about a five-star restaurant, it's not. But if we are talking about good food that we enjoy eating, yes it is, “said Alvin Gentry, the New Orleans coach enjoying eating” in biodegradable containers, which is very smart ” .
So what does a typical day look like at Disney, far from attractions closed to the public, coronavirus requires?
“I got up, I got tested, I went to lunch, I played video games, I spent a little time with my teammates, I practiced, I came back, we have ate, still with my teammates, then new video games, again with my teammates. A big, busy day, “described Quinn Cook (Lakers).
On social networks, videos are popping up showing players killing time in a good mood, such as JJ Redick (New Orleans) having fun drinking ass dry beer cans like in college.
The Spurs organize cornhole tournaments (throwing bags of corn kernels into the hole of an inclined board), the Celtics play beach volleyball when Enes Kanter and Marcus Smart don't go into frenzied swimming races.
– “It's not Syria” –
The Denver Nuggets have also taken to the pool to train. “We can never strengthen enough the idea of + us +”, justified the coach Michael Malone, seeing it as a means of solidifying the bonds.
To drive out boredom, others opt for golf or fishing , like Paul George (Clippers).
Many players have put things in perspective, like Steven Adams (Oklahoma City) for whom “it's not Syria, either”. “It’s not that hard as some say. We live in a goddamn resort. Everyone complains, has their own preferences, but that's not much. “
” Every now and then we get bored, but it's okay. There are times when it's pretty cool because you can chat with players from other teams, ”he underlined.
Here is a positive aspect: getting to know each other better, stuck in your bubble in that of others and develop social ties, which the rest of the population is deprived of in the current context of a galloping pandemic.
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© Agence France-Presse