NBA players will soon be landing in Orlando to begin training camp for the NBA return next July 30. All these ballers will be there for two months and there are doubts about their capacity or willingness to respect the rules once they’re at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex.
Talking with ESPN’s Royce Young, Portland Trail Blazers point guard Damian Lillard believes that not everybody will follow the rules, especially knowing the number of players that will be there and all the temptations they could find along the way.
“My confidence ain’t great,” Lillard said. “My confidence ain’t great because you’re telling me you’re gonna have 22 teams full of players following all the rules? When we have 100 percent freedom, everybody don’t follow all the rules. I don’t have much confidence. But hopefully it’ll be handled to a point where we’re not putting everybody at risk or in a dangerous position.”
He knows there are risks, but Lillard is confident that the league did a good job with its plan to keep everybody safe at the bubble.
“The fact that we’re going to be in a bubble, it kind of knocks it down and limits the chance of us being exposed to everybody else outside the bubble in Orlando,” he said. “I think it is a safer situation. But I don’t think it’s possible for them to protect us 100 percent. I think everybody’s going there understanding that.”
He will try to have a long stay at the bubble with his Blazers so he will make sure to get comfy. Portland is one of the teams fighting for that 8th seed in the West and they need everybody in their best shape to compete for a playoff spot and something more.
“I know there’re going to activities for us and all that stuff, but I mean, I’m gonna be chilling. I feel like there’s still a possibility for something to spread within that bubble, just with so many people doing so many different things that we’ve got to follow to be safe, even though we’re not exposed to the public. So for me, it’s going to be: What time is practice, what time can I get in the weight room, what time can I get some shots up, what’s the plan for game day. And then I’m gonna be in the room. I’m gonna have my PS3, my PS4, I’m gonna have my studio equipment, my mic, my laptop, I’m gonna have all my books. That’s it, man. I’m gonna be in the room, chilling.”
Dame isn’t the only thinking this, but he’s going to follow a different path than several other players. He’s ready to make himself feel at home and nothing is stopping that.