Inside the NBA Bubble

ESPN Radio play-by-play announcer Sean Kelley returns to his broadcast position inside the NBA bubble next week. Thursday, he’ll have the Western Conference first-round matchup between the Los Angeles Lakers and whoever emerges as the number eight seed (Portland or Memphis). But before heading back to Orlando, he’s talking with Aaron Arruda and Chris Mycoskie on the No Longer Neighbors podcast.

As usual, Aaron and Chris open the show with the week in review. It’s back to school time. Aaron’s wife Alicia is back on her elementary school’s campus to teach (1:05) even though students are attending virtually for the time being. Chris’s wife Cassie is teaching home school for a change, as the Mycoskies decided that was the best option for their son right now. That’s followed by restaurant talk (5:30), including COVID-19 closures and new delivery-only options. They wrap up the segment with a short conversation about the latest national anthem news surrounding sporting events, as Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones says he’ll show grace to players who opt to kneel (12:38). In addition, FC Dallas player Reggie Cannon faced boos and projectiles in Frisco this week after he chose to kneel during the anthem.

The conversation with Sean begins with his initial arrival inside the NBA bubble (24:22) on August 4th, which included play-by-play how-to instructions from Ian Eagle. Unlike the players and coaches who could be there for three months straight, national TV and radio announcers are going to Orlando in waves.

After seeing the problems in Major League Baseball with the Cardinals and Marlins, Sean says the NBA and NHL are doing things right with the bubble (32:30). Although it’s expensive, this may be the only way to bring the risk level down to nearly zero. Sean is being tested for COVID-19 twice a week and for players it happens more often.

Sean is also the lead voice for ESPN Radio’s coverage of college football, so he’s waiting on those assignments as news plays out across the country (46:23). The PAC-12 and Big Ten announced this week they’ll postpone games until the spring, while the Big 12, ACC, and SEC still plan to play this fall.


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