A captivating account of the NBA’s strangest season ever, from shutdown to championship, from a prominent national basketball writer living inside the bubble
When NBA player Rudy Gobert tested positive for COVID-19 in March 2020, the league shut down immediately, bringing a shocking, sudden pause to the season. As the pandemic raged, it looked like it might be the first year in league history with no champion. But four months later, after meticulous planning, play resumed in a “bubble” at Disney World-a restricted, single-site locale, where teams could only bring limited staff and the outside world was largely cut off.
Due to health concerns, the league invited only a handful of reporters to the show. Everyone who attended would need to sacrifice medical privacy, live in a simple hotel room for months on end, and submit to daily coronavirus testing in hopes of keeping the Bubble from bursting. Ben Golliver, the national NBA writer for the Washington Post, is one of them. Bubbleball is his account of the season and life inside, telling the story of how basketball shut down and how superstars like LeBron James, Giannis Antetokounmpo, and Kawhi Leonard battled for the throne once play resumed in unconventional circumstances and empty gyms. Based on months of reporting in the exclusive, restricted environment, this is an entertaining record of an extraordinary season.