Orlando Magic in the bubble: Life on the links

Orlando Magic guard D.J. Augustin has started his own video blog of life in the bubble. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
Orlando Magic guard D.J. Augustin has started his own video blog of life in the bubble. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images) /

The Orlando Magic have another day off Tuesday as they try to make the most of life inside the NBA’s campus, including a golf and bowling outing.

The NBA’s Disney campus has been a world of endless fascination for fans.

The league is convening at Disney World in this unique setting. It is rare for NBA players to be located in one place with no fans surrounding them. The thought a lot of people have shared is that this is probably the most quiet and private time LeBron James has had in his life since he was in high school.

There is seemingly some freedom on this campus because of that. Players are moving around and able to hang out with each other in a way that is almost impossible during the season. And probably even somewhat in the offseason.

Yes, it is still tough to be without family. You can see from social media posts even among Magic players how much they miss their families. This situation is nowhere near perfect or ideal.

Magic director of player development Becky Bonner helped stock the team room with photos of players’ families to bring at least some of home with them inside the hotel.

Everyone is seemingly making the best of the situation as they get back on the court and prepare to start the season.

To those on the outside, life inside the bubble is truly an interesting topic. Fans have never seen NBA players walking around without the pressure of being in front of fans. Everyone at this point is sharing only what they want to share, for sure, but there is a relaxed feeling it seems. Everyone’s guard does not have to be up so much.

That collegial feeling has created some fun interactions between players and the chance for friends on different teams to catch up — see Tobias Harris and Boban Marjanovic or the Antetokounmpo brothers.

The Magic had a day off a few weeks ago and used it to explore what was available to them inside the campus. A few players went to the golf course and tried to play golf. The noted word is “try.”


Unfortunately for them, someone was taking video. And we did get to see D.J. Augustin’s swing.

D.J. Augustin joined the group of players putting together video blogs in their downtime and released video of their outing to the golf course at Disney in the first episode of his video log of the Magic’s trip inside the bubble.

Even if their golf games are not great, at least they seemed to have a good time. Augustin said he planned to be back — that putt was pretty good, but there is always one shot to get you to return.

Players certainly have a lot to fill their downtime.

Players have been confined to their rooms a lot, giving them time to play video games and the like. Terrence Ross recorded a podcast with Aaron Gordon that is due to be released Tuesday.

The popular activity at The Grand Floridian has been to rent a pontoon boat and go out on the Seven Seas Lagoon or go fishing — the lake is well stocked with bass. Everyone agrees Gary Clark is the best fisherman on the team.

The teams at The Grand Floridian even held a cornhole tournament.

There is a lot going on beyond the basketball court still.

Philadelphia 76ers guard Matisse Thybulle has put together a popular video blog of his life in the bubble — including a look inside team practices, daily life and the team’s early discussions on how they can use the season as a platform to advance social justice issues.

Other players have followed suit with their own video documentaries of their new lives.

Everyone is buzzing about the addition of barbershops at the campus — Evan Fournier and Nikola Vucevic’s barber from is living inside the bubble.

The Magic even had a bowling outing after their game last Wednesday.

Aside from players outside of Florida getting used to Orlando’s July weather, everyone seems to be settling in.

Soon, players will be allowed to travel between hotels to see what life is like elsewhere on the campus. And soon, the fun and games of the “preseason” will be over. The seeding round will force everyone to lock in once again.

Next. Orlando Magic have eye on future as they prepare for Playoffs. dark

But there is plenty of time for some fun in between as everyone makes the best of life inside the campus.