Joel Embiid Says 'There's No Chance' He Could Play in Bubble for Entire 6- to 8-Month Season in 2020-21


The NBA Bubble has caught the attention of sports fans and non-sports fans alike, simply because it has worked. It has worked really, really well. A few lapses here and there were bound to happen, but the fact of the matter is that the model is doing exactly what it was supposed to do.

There have been zero positive tests inside the bubble for three straight weeks, according to Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today, and though the idea of isolation may not have led too many NBA players to be overly excited for the experience, it has pleasantly surprised many.

One of those guys is Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid, who joined JJ Redick on "The Old Man and the Three" podcast, available on RADIO.COM. It's important to note that Embiid might not have sounded as cheery had this episode been recorded a few days after it was, as both he and Ben Simmons suffered injuries, the latter of which was more serious and required Simmons to exit the bubble for surgery.

"It's been actually okay," Embiid said after Redick asked him about life in the bubble. "I've been surprised, like, I didn't know what to expect coming in. I wasn't a big fan of the idea but it's actually been fun."

Though the extensive downtime before games began irked both Redick and Embiid, the Sixers beloved big man spent most of his time playing video games -- which is probably what he would have been doing anyway -- though he did miss his family.

Redick mentioned that, should either of their teams make it all the way to the Finals, they'd be in the bubble for around three months. Again, this episode was recorded before the August 8-9 weekend, and so Redick no longer has to entertain this possibility. The Pelicans were eliminated after a loss to the Spurs on Sunday afternoon.

"As we look at what's happening in other sports and (try) to figure out how to play without a bubble," Redick said, "what does next season look like for us? It's a real concern for me. Like, I don't know if I can really do six to eight months in a bubble."

"Oh, I can't," Embiid responded almost immediately. "There's no chance. I don't think it's happening. I mean you've got to find a way... hopefully by then, we will be better, we will find some more solutions to what's going on right now.

"But to expect being in the bubble for eight months? That's unlikely. I don't know if I can do it... there's no chance."

However, if you watched the video above, there certainly is a real chance. Zach Gelb of CBS Sports Radio had the opportunity to interview Michele Roberts, the executive director of the Players Association, about the possibility of a bubble next season.

"Under these current circumstances -- given what the virus is doing, given the absence of a vaccine, given the state of medicine -- if this remains... then we know, again, what the safe way is to play," Roberts said. "I want to believe that we are going to figure this thing out and things will change and we're not going to have to find ourselves walking around with masks for the rest of our lives... but if that doesn't happen, and tomorrow is today, again, we know how we have to play. It's called in a bubble."

Gelb, thankfully, asked the burning question following this response: would the players be okay with doing that for an entire season?

"I haven't said that," Roberts said, with a laugh.

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