A day before boarding a plane to Orlando, Washington Wizards guard Ish Smith went to CVS and grabbed the essentials — “two of everything,” he said.
For him, life inside the Disney World bubble wasn’t going to be a problem. Besides the essentials he grabbed at CVS, Smith doesn’t need much to remain content. Give him a basketball — and he’ll be set.
Over the past few days, other NBA players have complained about the bubble — they’ve posted photos of the food, each item packed in a to-go box on a cafeteria tray, and the cramped rooms they were stuck in for at least 48 hours upon arriving to Orlando.
terrence ross showing last night’s dinner:— NBA Bubble Life (@NBABubbleLife) July 10, 2020
On Thursday night after the Wizards’ first practice in Orlando, I asked Smith about his experience inside the bubble — specifically how he feels about the food the players have been served.
“You might need to ask somebody else who lives a more high-maintenance life,” he responded in the Zoom call. “They bring us food, we eat it. It hasn’t been bad, I got no complaints.”
It doesn’t take much to please Smith, who’s a fan of Disney and visited frequently while playing for the Orlando Magic — “so many times, they started knowing me on a first name basis,” he said.
To him, this experience is just another chance to play basketball.
“You don’t get a long time to play this game,” said Smith, who turned 32 just a few days before entering the bubble. “You don’t know what you have until it’s gone — the friendships, the trips you kind of take for granted.”
With Bradley Beal, John Wall and Davis Bertans all out, coach Scott Brooks will rely on Smith a lot more than usual, and acknowledged as such during his call with the media. The team, which is mostly comprised of 20-somethings, will need Smith’s veteran know-how, especially in an environment that is completely dedicated to playing basketball, with no distractions from the outside world.
Even with a depleted roster — having to make up more than 40 points per game — Smith isn’t going to throw in the towel, and neither are the Wizards.
After all, as Smith has come to learn over his decade of NBA experience, a sizable portion of success is based on having a belief that success is attainable.
In other words — it’s important to focus on the game of basketball, just as Smith has done.
“I saw Stephen A. [Smith] say all this stuff [about the Wizards] . . . but if I listened to this, I would have been out the league,” he said. “So let’s go out there and be aggressive. Get better. Try to make a push, try to make a run.”