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Imagine leaving your family for months on end in order to fulfill the ideals of your job?
This is the case for all NBA players who were put into isolation at the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida. In order to have a returning season, the teams were asked to partake in a self-isolation away from their families and friends. Asking any individual to do this is both mentally and emotionally demanding. The reality is no matter how much a person truly loves their job, they still look forward to a day off.
Mental stability is a serious aspect of health and, unfortunately, there are a lot of people who avoid talking about what is going on inside their heads, especially athletes. With athletes, distinctly pro players, there is a stigma that they have everything in the world and their only job is to play the game that they are good at. No one typically considers their mental health and the things that they keep their fans from knowing. Their lives may seem perfect, but they are human beings and go through hardships just like anyone else.
A player, who has been inside the NBA bubble for quite some time, has spoken out about the mental health and well being of himself along with some of the other players. Jaylen Brown, small forward and shooting guard on the Boston Celtics, shares in an interview, “I would like to bring attention to mental health, and awareness. Being here in the bubble, I guess people might not speak on it, but it is a challenge to a lot of guys. It’s like you're at work all the time… I definitely want to bring awareness to mental health, anxiety and forms of depression in times like these.” It is definitely tough for all these men as they continue to spend time away from their families along with the rest of society.
However, if the immediate families of each NBA player were to isolate and follow the same rules and restrictions, why can’t they just live with them in the same hotel rooms? Not only would the metal health of each player slowly be on the rise, but it would be good for the business of the NBA and Walt Disney World. Imagine LeBron James finishing up a game and heading right to the Disney Parks with his kids? That would be amazing for publicity. So, in all, it is a win win for players and commotion.
NBPA director of mental health and wellness Dr. William Parham along with other officials provided players with resources about physiological adjustments during their times in the bubble because they knew that they would face hardships. Some players have actually left the bubble due to personal or family matters. Asking people to leave their families during a national pandemic is a difficult thing to do especially for those who have children and have added another life to their family. It would take a lot of adapting and adjusting to be away from their biggest support system for months. Of course keeping up with their close ones and family members is encouraged via social media or facetime, but is that really enough?