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Duke Women's Coach Kara Lawson: Not Sure a College Bubble Is Feasible

Number of teams, academic duties make it difficult

New women’s coach Kara Lawson came to Duke from the NBA Bubble in Orlando, where she had been working with the Celtics.

While the Bubble kept players safe while the games went on, Lawson wasn’t convinced a similar setup would be feasible for college.

“I hadn’t really thought of that,” she said. “I think the Bubble for the NBA worked—is working—because of the small number of teams. I think the challenge would be for college basketball to have it be a small number of teams, if you were going to do it. The other challenge is in college basketball, they’re in class. They have academic requirements, some of them, depending on whether school is in person. Some are not. I think that could present some logistical challenges, unless you were doing it when they weren’t in school or you had a group that didn’t have in person. But then you look at the quarantine and length of time the players would have to be in the Bubble, you look at how you’d be able to accommodate the academic pieces. Obviously, there are a lot more teams in college than the NBA—both women’s college and men’s college. Maybe for the postseason—it’s a shorter period of time and smaller number of teams. That might be an opportunity to do that.”

Lawson also compared college basketball to the pros.

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“They’re two different leagues, obviously,” she said. “From what I’ve observed, there’s a lot of things that are similar, that translate—common themes that pop up among great teams in college and the pros. Our team in Boston, for instance. The reason why were a good team is we were very disciplined and payed attention to detail. We were very committed on the defensive end of the floor. They’re talented players, but they’re very committed on that end. If you watch the NBA, you’ll find that when it gets down to the final eight, final four, final two teams, you’re seeing teams that are really committed on the defensive end of the floor. That’s true at any level. Something that I’ll try to bring is the discipline it takes to win at an elite level. You have to have it. There’s not a shortcut to that.”