Philadelphia 76ers star center Joel Embiid has stated that he’s worried about playing in the bubble when the NBA restarts its season later this month. The Sixers were set to depart for Orlando Thursday afternoon and when they did, let’s just say that Embiid was properly protected.
Upon his arrival for the team’s flight, Embiid was wearing a hazmat suit, a face mask, and gloves. Embiid even took time to pose for photos with fans while wearing his suit.
Once the Sixers arrive in Florida, the team will be quarantined for a few days then resume basketball activities in preparation for the season, which begins later this month. Philadelphia opens the season restart on Aug. 1 against the Indiana Pacers, but does have three exhibition games before that.
During a conference call earlier this week, Embiid said that he “hated” the idea of resuming the 2019-20 season inside of a bubble.
“I hated the idea,” Embiid said. “I feel like with everything that has been going on, it’s unfortunate what’s been going on in the world. Obviously people look at it in a different way. There might be some other reasons behind everything going on. To me, that part never mattered. To me, all I want is to stay healthy and stay safe, keep the people around me safe. I want to make sure I’m able to live for a long time and not have any sort of consequences in the future from this if I were to be in a situation where I was getting the virus.”
While Embiid doesn’t agree with resuming the season, the Sixers star is still planning to giving all that he has when his team takes the floor.
“Unfortunately, I’m not a big fan of the idea. But then again, I’m going to do my job,” Embiid added. “I’m not going to let the city down. I’m going to represent my city — that’s what I’ve always done — my family, my teammates. The mindset doesn’t change. It doesn’t matter the fact that I don’t like that idea and I still don’t believe in it. I don’t think it’s going to be safe enough.”
Since COVID-19 began to spread around the United States, Embiid has kept to himself and stayed quarantined. The star center revealed that he plays a lot of video games and stays inside, but doesn’t trust other players to do the same.
It’s unclear if Embiid is really that concerned about his health or if he is just attempting to be his normal funny self. Either way, Embiid is already making headlines before the Sixers even descend upon Orlando for the resumption of the season.