LeBron James is still not quite settled in the NBA bubble.
The NBA has done a commendable job in creating a sufficient environment for the players in Orlando. For James, however, it’s missing one key ingredient.
“I miss the hell out of my family,” James said after the Lakers’ 116-108 win over the Jazz on Monday. “My wife, my kids, my mother. And so on and so on. So, it’s a huge challenge.”
NBA players’ families cannot join them in the bubble until after the first round of the playoffs, meaning James will be forced to be away from his family for at least two months.
James previously told reporters that this would be the longest period of time away from his family. Before the bubble, James went about 30 days without seeing them during the Olympics. Each team is playing eight seeding games with the playoffs set to start on Aug. 18 and the second round likely beginning on Sept. 1.
“You can’t replicate actual presence when you’re waking up and you’re in the living room or you’re in the kitchen or you’re outside playing with your kids or playing with your daughter, playing video games with your boys or working out with your boys,” James said. “You can’t replicate that, I’m not there. But [James’ wife] Savannah is a beast at what she does – that’s controlling the home and being that rock for our family. So, I’m not worried about that.”
Throughout his career, James has typically gone “dark” on social media leading up to and during the playoffs, and stays away from television as well. That’s not an option for him this year, as he’s on his phone constantly to check in with his family and ensure their well-being during the coronavirus pandemic.
“I won’t be turning my phone off during this run,” James said recently. “I can’t afford to. I have to continue to check in with my family every single day. Check in with my mom, making sure everything is still going well especially in the uncertainty of what 2020 has brought to all of us. So, I can’t afford to just lose direct contact with everybody. I’ll be as locked in as I can be under the circumstances. I won’t cheat my teammates, I won’t cheat our fans and I won’t cheat myself. I’ll be ready to go.”
The Lakers have beat both the Clippers and Jazz in their first two seeding-games of the restart, clinching the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference in the process.
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