By: Jacob Benson and Brock Birkholtz
Anxiety screenings increased 93% in 2020, with a 62% increase in depression screenings since 2019, according to Mental Health America.
For residents living inside the NBA bubble in Orlando, there was much uncertainty. After the season came to a standstill on March 11, 2020, games eventually picked up in July with players isolated at a resort on campus at Disney World. Players were not allowed to leave or so much as mingle with others. This isolation from social life and their families created difficulties for players stuck in the bubble for up to two months.
We talked to Garth Glissman, NBA’s vice president of basketball operations, about the mood around the NBA office when the season came to a halt and his opinions on how the NBA handled player’s mental health during the season finale. We also talked to Kelly Flatow, executive vice president of events in the NBA, who played a crucial part in the construction of the NBA bubble. We spoke to her about the bubble’s decision-making process and the mental health results for player counseling. We then talked to Chuck Cooperstein, the Dallas Mavericks’ play-by-play voice, about how the media and the pandemic affected NBA broadcasters.