Billy Donovan "Helping Each Other is Going to be Critical."

Erik Gee

The Oklahoma City Thunder, along with the rest of the NBA are entering into "unchartered  territory." That's how coach Billy Donovan put it on Wednesday when he spoke the media ahead of his teams' departure for Orlando. 

The Thunder will play their first game on August 1st against the Utah Jazz, but before tipping off, there will be a lot of downtime stuck inside the NBA bubble. "I think you try and prepare as best you can with the realization you've never gone through this."

"You may have a week or ten-day road trip; this is clearly a lot more significant than that."..."This biggest thing is, is that we've got a great group of guys, we've had really good chemistry, I think staying together, supporting each other, helping each other is going to be really really critical."

While the league is providing entertainment such as video games, movies, and DJ parties, if all goes well, the Thunder won't get to see their families till the second round of the playoffs.  They will also be prevented from leaving the Disney campus without permission. 

With so many restrictions on movement and the possibility of spending three months away from home, players could get restless. However, the Thunder aren't most teams, and Donovan says his players have back since before the June 23rd transaction window opened. 

"I think all these players are very, very competitive, and they love playing the game of basketball, and the opportunity to get back on the court is something I think that is important to all of them."...."Our guys have been very, very active in terms of utilizing the opportunity to come into the facility."

Donovan adds that while they have not been able to play five on five or four on four, the Thunder has been hitting the weight room and playing one on zero.  

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Comments (2)
No. 1-2
Erik Gee
Erik Gee


Could you stay away from home for two to three months in a hotel seeing only the same people every day? That would mess with my mind. Whoever wins this championship earned it.


the players will definitely need some healthy time filling things to do without their normal support from family and friends in the beginning of their time in the nba's gated community. In basically every way the normal routine of chasing a championship known by these players is out the window. No team will have a comfort level they might have been used too. The normal wear and tear of back 2 backs and the length of the season is out the window. There will be a future argument that this will be the toughest of nba championships to win in history.