A lot of things will look very different when the NBA restarts later this month in Orlando in the Disney bubble, as games will be played without fans — although other NBA players can attend — and all games will take place in the same arena throughout the postseason.
For a group of athletes that are so tied to routine, the bubble will be an exercise in patience and a test of how well they can adapt to a completely different routine that will emerge in Orlando. Players will all arrive to the game via bus from the hotel, and according to ESPN’s Nick DePaula, will have to dress for the game in full uniform and warmups at the hotel, rather than having the typical tunnel walk in their well crafted outfits.
For many, the tunnel walk has been a chance to show their personality through fashion, as players have started taking their pregame fits very seriously — and many teams have outfitted specific areas for photographers that offer the best lighting and backdrop for pregame pics. As P.J. Tucker told DePaula, getting dressed at the hotel is going to feel more like he’s gone back in time to his AAU days, not like he’s in the NBA.
“Getting dressed at the hotel now will feel like an AAU tournament,” Tucker said. “It’s AAU Nationals, it’s the Nike Super Showcase and one of those [tournaments] that we used to play in back in the day. I’m not feeling it. It just doesn’t feel NBA to me, but it is what it is.”
Tucker said dressing up for games was part of what made him feel like he was going to work, and this will certainly be an adjustment for him and others — although, have no fear, the NBA’s sneaker king is still going to be showing off his incredible collection even in warmups.