Looking at the NBA Return Through the Watchful Lens of Matisse Thybulle

The former University of Washington basketball player turns a tough situation into a fun-filled time with his self-produced video blog from Florida.

The world can't enough of Matisse Thybulle.

The NBA player. League ambassador. Adroit videographer.

With everyone consumed with fighting or ignoring a raging pandemic, and looking for any ray of hope or something as simple as a momentary diversion from the widespread angst, Thybulle has gone viral by willingly putting his cheerful personality and savvy production skills out there for all to see.

The former University of Washington standout, now a rookie guard for the Philadelphia 76ers, became a fan favorite in Seattle for an unselfish career filled with clever blocked shots and steals.

Thybulle, with his self-produced, day-in-the-life "vlog," or 10-minute video diary, is now succeeding in building a huge audience and making people everywhere smile. Watch it here or in his tweet:

His backdrop is Orlando, Florida, the scene of the resumption of the NBA season at the end of the month with a limited amount of teams congregating at one site at Walt Disney World. And no fans. 

The atmosphere is highly restrictive, with Thybulle and his teammates put through novel coronavirus testing, social distancing and all the other lifestyle changes that come with being in a health-crisis lockdown.

Thybulle, 23, gleefully gives us another sense of well-being by comically unpacking his bags, bantering with his teammates and showing his very likable side to a much broader audience.  

It's 10 minutes per episode of sheer fun through the eyes of this young pro basketball savant from Seattle's suburbs with a serious photography interest. 

"Oh, snacks!" he exclaims, when finding food left in his room by his team. 

Thybulle mulls launching his new drone off his hotel balcony before thinking better of violating a no-fly zone. 

He easily navigates through ballrooms, hallways and practice facilities. 

He does it all, shooting, narrating and editing the final video product. He titled the first installment "Welcome to the Bubble." He's drawn positive feedback from people who do this professionally on YouTube and his video efforts been the subject of a story in the New York Times that you can read here.  

“I didn’t know if they were going to like me,” he told the reporter, referring to his viewing audience.

His teammates seem to like it, often entering the screen unannounced and attempting to get his attention on camera. 

The 76ers know what they have in Thybulle — a magnetic marketing presence that can prove far more valuable to the franchise than with just points and rebounds.

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