The Orlando bubble is a big logistical challenge for the NBA, of course, but also for the franchises who had to sort out what they were going to bring to Disney. And it was not obvious.
“We took almost everything. I’m the kind of guy who wants everything to be close at hand. So I literally packed the whole equipment room to bring it with me. ” Rob Pimental, in charge of the Heat equipment.
A radical decision he made after several sleepless nights brain wrecking, he explains. And he was not the only one in this case obviously, even if the staff in charge of the equipment is a little forgotten.
“They are honestly prepared for it. Some of the smartest guys in the league have that role and in the end, for us, it’s neither too hard nor too easy. The coaches are counting on us, the players are counting on us and we are writing history with this bubble. So it’s cool to be part of this adventure, even if it requires work. ” Jacob Diamond, du Magic.
In the bubble, Diamond is left with a suite of two rooms, packed to the brim with wardrobes and various bags filled with equipment such as socks or compression stockings. Objects that may seem a bit gimmicky, but very important in the life of a basketball player. And Magic players also spend a lot of time at Diamond.
“I preferred to take too many things, rather than not enough. It is not so easy to bring things here after we arrive, I prefer that they are already there, ready to be used. ” Jacob Diamond.
For the Raptors, it was even more complicated since it took two transfers, since the defending champions left their city a little before everyone else to organize a first training camp in Florida, before get to Disney. And Paul Elliott therefore had to package everything and go out a second time. He counted, that’s 176 bags. However, he is one of those who take only the bare necessities.
“I looked at this bubble as if they were leaving two weeks for a road trip in the West, and I took what I needed for that, before taking it all over four more times. I had to make sure I had enough options for them to be as comfortable as possible. I want to be ready. ” Paul Elliott.
Fortunately for him, he received help from several members of the staff Raptors whose mission is not usually.
“We have the best staff for this stuff. No one is too good at what to do, they just want to make sure it is done right. ” Paul Elliott.
Same story with the Heat.
“We understand that everyone has to get their hands dirty. That means you have to carry the bags, do the housework … All that sort of thing. It is no longer the problem of the equipment managers, but of everyone. We will all be involved in every aspect of this job. ” Erik Spoelstra.
Which will not prevent the equipment managers from having a lot of work, and this on a daily basis. But they stick together between colleagues from different teams.
“We understand the problems of each of the guys, because we have the same.” Jacob Diamond.
“It’s something that has never been done, but we’re going to make it work.” Rob Pimental.