The bubble wore on players.
The isolation from family. The same 48-hour routine day after day (practice one day, game the next). Staring at the same hotel room walls. Eating at the same restaurant. Multiple players and coaches have talked about the mental health challenges of the NBA restart bubble.
Add the Lakers’ Dwight Howard to the list.
“For myself, there has been times where I was depressed about just having to be in the bubble, not being able to see my family, my kids,” Howard said. “So it could be very difficult, so I just tried to find a way to escape mentally by doing a lot of reading, getting out and walking, talking to a lot of the people who work for the NBA who are here and experiencing the bubble as well.
“So just trying to just share my experiences with them and to listen to their experiences and find hope within each other.”
Howard does have some family with him in the bubble now, his son David joined him.
Good for Howard stepping forward and talking about something he may not have been comfortable discussing. He’s high profile, and having players such as Kevin Love and DeMar DeRozan and Howard talk about it helps reduce the stigma around the disease. Howard was put in a difficult situation with the bubble — for approaching 90 days now for the Lakers — and he was honest about his feelings.
It’s the NBA Finals now, and after watching Game 1, the Lakers may not be there that much longer. After a strong second half, expect Howard to get the start for the Lakers in Game 2 on Friday night.