Celtics Share How They’ve Found Joy While in Isolation
When the Boston Celtics entered the NBA bubble in early July, they knew that the length of their survival on campus would depend on more than just their basketball skills and teamwork. In order to be one of the last teams standing, they would also need to have enough mental toughness to persevere through the element of isolation.
Eleven weeks have now passed, and Boston remains as one of the final four teams out of the initial 22, meaning it has checked off both of those boxes thus far.
We’ve seen how the Celtics have gotten through the physical aspect of their journey, as they plowed through their eight seeding games before knocking off Philadelphia and Toronto during the first two rounds to join Miami in the Eastern Conference Finals. As for how they’ve pushed through the mental aspect, the solution has varied from team member to team member.
For Jaylen Brown, the key to getting through isolation has been his ability to develop a consistent routine along with new lifestyle habits, which could come in handy even after he leaves Florida.
“Some of the things that I picked up here in the bubble, I feel like I'll probably take with me for the rest of my life,” said the veteran wing. “Being able to develop certain habits and things to help you deal with being in a bubble away from your family in an uncomfortable environment.
“Everybody's different, so everybody had their own adaptation process. Some of the things I’ve picked up here, personally, I’ll carry with me when I leave.”
Being away from family, as Brown mentioned, has been one of the most challenging aspects for many players. Fortunately, however, several family members were allowed into the bubble last week, providing some emotional relief for players such as Jayson Tatum who had been missing his mother and son terribly.
“We’ve been here a long time, but I think the dynamic of having your family and friends come has really been a breath of fresh air,” said the third-year wing. “Just seeing some different faces, to make this experience more comfortable, I guess. Seeing your family is always a plus.”
It’s especially been a plus for Tatum to have his 2-year-old son, Deuce, with him considering how inseparable the duo is under normal circumstances.
“It’s been great having Deuce here,” Tatum said. “He’s enjoying it. He’s having a blast. He’s having fun. I’m happy he’s here to enjoy and share this moment with me.”
Finding such joy now is more important than ever, as the surviving teams continue to dwindle, placing even more of an emphasis on the isolation factor. Fortunately for the Celtics, they’ve been able to to do so while also appreciating their opportunity to chase a championship under unique circumstances.
“I said yesterday, it's eerie here with the amount of teams that are no longer here, because it's so empty versus what it was,” C’s coach Brad Stevens observed. “But at the same time, we're thankful that we're part of that. Thus far, it's been challenging in some ways, but a rewarding experience in every other which way.”