I spent nearly two months this summer living in a bubble within a bubble.
The New York Times sent me to Walt Disney World in July, but not for a vacation. I was The Times’s first of two representatives in the media corner of the NBA bubble, assigned to cover everything happening on the league’s restricted-access, highly surveilled Disney campus, where 22 teams were summoned to play out the rest of the 2019–20 season for up to three months. The league’s goal was twofold: It wanted to crown a champion, as it had in each of the NBA’s first 73 seasons, but it also wanted to keep the coronavirus from infiltrating this first-of-its-kind village and forcing a permanent cancellation of its 74th season. As such, in the name of safety, rules kept reporters to a 1-square-mile section of the broader bubble, which housed hundreds of players in three off-limits team hotels.