LeBron James Tweets He 'Hated To Leave' His Family To Head To Orlando Bubble

Melissa Rohlin

Over the last month, the Lakers have been bracing for the bubble. 

But on Thursday, the reality of having to leave his family for an extended period of time truly hit LeBron James.

"Just left the crib to head to the bubble," James tweeted. "S--- felt like I’m headed to do a bid man! Fr. Hated to leave the #JamesGang."

The Lakers, who are atop the Western Conference with a record of 49-14, flew to Orlando on Thursday and they could be there for more than three months if they go deep into the playoffs. Game 7 of The Finals would be Oct. 12. 

NBA players will be without their families until at least after the first round of the playoffs, according to ESPN. The second round is set to begin Aug. 31. 

In a conference call in early April, James said the silver lining of the NBA being suspended March 11 because of the COVID-19 pandemic was that he was able to spend quality time with his wife Savannah and their three children, Bronny, 15, Bryce, 13, and Zhuri, 5. 

"I’m able to train with my boys," James said. "I’m able to have tea time and color with my daughter. I’m able to be with my wife on a day-to-day basis every single day, either watching the kids or watching a TV series."

James has not spoken to NBA reporters since the league announced it will resume the season. But over the last two weeks, various members of the Lakers have acknowledged that the bubble will be challenging, while also expressing excitement over playing basketball and having the chance to compete for a championship. 

Danny Green said the rules of the bubble "aren’t the most exciting thing to be looking forward to." Jared Dudley added that he trusts the NBA's safety protocols, but said, "I would be lying to you if I told you everybody was completely comfortable."

And Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka called the bubble a mental challenge.

“Orlando itself is going to be as much of a mental test as it is a physical test because of the extraordinary circumstances there," Pelinka said. "I think a team like ours that has such a strong togetherness component will have an advantage at that part, because this team of guys loves being together, and they love playing together."

Pelinka, who is unsure whether he will get to see his family for months, added that everyone is going to be tested there, including him. 

"Have I had nights at dinner where I’ll look over and my 10-year-old daughter has tears in her eyes and I ask her why and she says, 'It’s because daddy could be gone for 3 ½ months? Yes, that stuff is part of this," he said.