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Dispatches from the NBA bubble: Tuesday

The Arena features "Black Lives Matter" painted on the court.
(Tania Ganguli / Los Angeles Times)

Los Angeles Times reporter Tania Ganguli, who has cleared a seven-day quarantine in Orlando, Fla., is filing updates from inside the NBA’s bubble at the Walt Disney World campus as the league prepares to restart its season. Follow along with us.

Tuesday, July 21

When last we left the Lakers, they were a close-knit team that bonded closer together as the season progressed. They introduced some pieces that will be new to them when the restart officially happens and those players seem to be fitting right in.

Before practice on Tuesday, which took place inside a ballroom at the convention center attached to the Coronado Springs Resort, LeBron James and J.R. Smith could be seen chatting in one corner while James was stretched.

In the other corner of the room, Dion Waiters, whom the Lakers signed in March but has yet to play a game for them, sang, rapped and danced along to the music playing during the team’s group stretches.

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More details to come

When the NBA restarts its season, it will host games in three different arenas at Disney World’s ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. The Arena is pictured here and is the largest of the three venues.

The league is still working on the details of the in-game experience, which likely will evolve after games begin. That means crowd noise and visuals are still in the works.

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I wonder, could there be a virtual Denzel Washington on a courtside screen during Lakers games?

Morris arrival?

Marcus Morris practiced with the Clippers, and his brother Markieff will be joining the Lakers this afternoon, when he will head into quarantine. The Lakers will have everyone in Orlando they’re expecting for the resumption of the season.

Monday, July 20

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Lakers take to the court

Practice concluded a little before noon and players went to chairs that were set up six feet apart from each other. The Lakers did a five-on-five scrimmage to end practice and Lakers coach Frank Vogel noted at one point that Kyle Kuzma was nine for 10 in the previous days’ scrimmage. “Kuz has been one of our best players since this restart, in these practices,” Vogel said after practice. “He’s had a couple of stretches where he just dominated the floor.”

For those asking, no, Markieff Morris isn’t here yet.

What the beep?

Each media member here at Walt Disney World covering the NBA’s attempt to restart its season wears a monitor that begins beeping after you’ve been within six feet of another person for more than five seconds.

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It beeps louder after 10 seconds.

The king holds court

LeBron James did his second interview from inside the bubble, but his first with media physically in attendance today. He spoke about Rep. John Lewis and his legacy: “It was a sad day for all of us.”

He shared his thoughts on MVP voting based what happened through March 11 — he’s not disappointed, and says he believes he showed the league what he can do. He said the main thing he missed during the pandemic was his mom. She refused to fly so he didn’t see her for months.

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One quote that was very relatable: “Everyone keeps asking how is the bubble or how is it going, and I just say ‘It’s 2020.’ Nothing is normal in 2020.”

Positively nothing

The NBA and NBPA announced there have been no confirmed positive tests among the 346 players who were tested in the bubble this past week.

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