Who Is Behind Those N.B.A. ‘Bubble Life’ Tweets?


The posts — a curated collection of movies, pictures and musings pulled from gamers’ social media accounts — element the mundanity, and generally absurdity, of life in quarantine for the gamers as they restart their seasons, at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Fla. (N.B.A.) and IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla. (W.N.B.A.). They have delighted basketball followers and garnered consideration from the gamers and from ESPN, a broadcast accomplice of the N.B.A.

So who’s behind the #wholesomecontent? Both accounts are run by a quartet of self-described West Coast “hoop heads” and mates, a few of whom work within the N.B.A. media world: Nick DePaula, who writes concerning the shoe trade for ESPN; Wells Phillips, who works in advertising for the Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board; Travonne Edwards, a podcast host for The Athletic and an elementary schoolteacher in Scottsdale, Ariz.; and Drew Ruiz, a staffer for the Drew League, the Los Angeles-based basketball affiliation, who has additionally written for Slam Magazine. They all met by the basketball and sneaker worlds in Los Angeles.

During a Zoom conversation with The New York Times, the four friends said the idea sprang from their group text. DePaula, 35, sent a message: “Account that would blow up on Twitter: @nbabubblelife.” Phillips, 38, wrote back after setting up the handle: “The account is open,” he said, adding that it would be a “passion project.”

“This is something we’d be following and talking about among ourselves regardless,” DePaula said.

For this quartet of basketball aficionados, the accounts provide not just some laughs for the consumers, but also a welcome distraction from the daily deluge of troubling news, particularly rising case counts for Covid-19 and social unrest related to police brutality. Edwards, the teacher, said the account had helped him deal with the uneasiness of returning to school in the fall. Phillips’s day job in tourism has ground to a halt because of the pandemic.

“This project has helped me mentally to have an escape,” Phillips said. “I get some fun versus six hours a day of seeing negativity. The timing has been perfect.”

They all create posts, based on their availability. Ruiz, 29, often posts in the morning, for example, and Phillips around noon.

“We’re really staying in communication. ‘Hey, I’ve got to go work out.’ Or ‘Hey, I have to go step out for a bit.’ Can somebody do this and watch this account? We really run this egoless,” Edwards, 35, said.

The accounts provide a wide-ranging, heavily filtered glimpse into the lives of basketball players who, for at least a couple months, have few physical responsibilities outside of basketball and may not be in this situation again. They are away from the public and far from cameras that aren’t their own.



Source link Nytimes.com

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