LIVE FROM ORLANDO: The Rise Of NBA Bubble Social Media Accounts

by July 31, 2020
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It’s a couple of days before the bubble is starting as I’m writing this. You’re from the future, so you know either what kind of miracle the bubble is or what kind of incalculable disaster it wound up being.

I am, at this moment, some naive idiot from July, before whatever third apocalypse came in August or September. Is it dinosaurs? Have dinosaurs come back yet? I’m betting the dinosaurs came back, with knives for hands.

So forgive me, but for the first time in months, I’m experiencing this foreign, potentially disgraceful feeling that was once known as hope. And I’m experiencing this because of—get this—a couple of Twitter accounts: @TheNBABubble and @NBABubbleLife.

Yesterday, I saw a post on @TheNBABubble. It showed Jamal Murray, shirtless, bombing a 3-wood on a driving range, then flexing like he just won the WWE Intercontinental Championship.

A couple of hours later, he was ruled out for the team’s scrimmage because of “golf-related fatigue,” and the Nuggets had to start three centers and two power forwards.

This is the sort of garbage and hijinx I live for, and the world has been severely lacking in it for the past six months, as our country has had a pandemic and a long-overdue reckoning with racist police violence to sort through.

I thank God every day for these NBA Bubble Twitter and Instagram accounts. I’m now living vicariously, from about 18 inches higher, through Tacko Fall and Boban Marjanovic.

It’s reminding me that I will one day, too, be holding up a 6-foot-wide replica marlin and pretending I caught it on a boardwalk, like Norm Powell just posted on Instagram.

This was part of the point, according to Drew Ruiz, who started the @NBABubbleLife Instagram with three friends and NBA media vets Nick DePaula, Travonne Edwards and Wells Phillips.

“Initially, it was something that was just between four friends, then it took off immediately. We just wanted to shed light on positivity, and the players’ posts on the pandemic and racial injustices,” says Ruiz. “It’s good just to see somebody having a good time, like they’re at a summer camp.”

The @TheNBABubble account is more of a DIY operation by Matt Krasuski, who is a student without a school to go to. He follows every NBA player on Twitter he can find and sifts through the good stuff.

It was an instant hit. JaVale McGee complaining about vegan food while telling Kyle Kuzma he looks like a pancake. JR Smith “having the time of his life,” Krasuski said, while reminding people to “stay woke” about tracking devices on his Instagram Live.

“I’m a full-time student, so I have a good amount of free time right now,” Krasuski says.

Both Drew and Matt have similar Bubble Life MVPs: Tacko, Tobias Harris, CJ McCollum, Jamal Murray, Boban.

And look, I know I’m over-philosophizing this picture of Boban I’m looking at right now, where he’s playing on a normal-sized Ms. Pac-Man arcade machine that looks like it could fit into one of the pockets of his XXXXL shorts, but all I see in these pictures is hope.

One day in the next year, we all, too, will go fishing and catch nothing at all, or go to a driving range and completely miss the ball. It’ll be perfect. Then I’ll check Instagram, and I’ll still be following Tacko and CJ, probably for the rest of my life, because they reminded me that the apocalypse wasn’t permanent, even when it felt like it.

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Ben Collins is a writer and reporter for NBC News. He’s also a SLAM columnist and writes The Outlet, a monthly column in which BC muses on…well, whatever he wants. Follow him on Twitter @oneunderscore_.

Photo via Getty.

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