All reports are indicating that the NBA is looking to finish the 2019-20 season at Disney World in Orlando. That is music to the ears of the Milwaukee Bucks, and especially the Lopez twins.
The NBA and by extension, the Milwaukee Bucks, may soon be set for the happiest place on earth.
As ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne reported on Saturday afternoon, the league officially confirmed that it has been in discussions with the Walt Disney Company about restarting the 2019-20 season at ESPN’s Wide World of Sports Complex, which included this statement from NBA spokesman Mike Bass:
“The NBA, in conjunction with the National Basketball Players Association, is engaged in exploratory conversations with The Walt Disney Company about restarting the 2019-20 NBA season in late July at Disney’s ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Florida as a single site for an NBA campus for games, practices and housing,” Bass said. “Our priority continues to be the health and safety of all involved, and we are working with public health experts and government officials on a comprehensive set of guidelines to ensure that appropriate medical protocols and protections are in place.”
It’s clearly a crucial first step for the league to take as they look to resume this season amid the coronavrius pandemic being the reason for its suspension. And as Keith Smith first extensively detailed for Yahoo! Sports last month, there are multiple advantages and amenities that make the resort and location ideal for this current predicament.
The Lopez brothers’ affinity for all things Disney has been incredibly well-documented throughout their respective NBA careers. Regular trips to Disney World in Orlando as well as Disney Land in Anaheim have been prevalent all throughout their lives, even during this season between games during the Bucks’ 18-game winning streak as ESPN’s Ohm Yungmisuk reported on.
Brook has gone as far as to owning a house within the resort’s property as part of the Golden Oaks development. And Robin has already staked his claim on where the Bucks should be staying on the property when this concept was first starting to gain steam among NBA Twitter late last month.
Under this concept, the Bucks, and all teams for that matter obviously, wouldn’t hold the traditional home-court advantage that would be especially useful for playoff games.
However, the question that all Bucks fans have been wondering is whether the Lopez twins would be key to holding some sort of cosmic advantage by playing in their own version of heaven on earth.
The fact that Brook enjoyed his season-high performance and went a perfect 5-for-5 from downtown in a 111-100 road win over the Orlando Magic earlier this year certainly boosts this hypothesis.
I finally felt it was time to dig deeper, and perhaps surprisingly, both Brook and Robin have had a contrasting history of performances when visiting O-Town with their respective teams over the years, before they reunited in Milwaukee.
Starting with Brook, the All-Star big man has surprisingly had a checkered history in his 16 tilts visiting the Amway Center over his 12-year NBA career. Per Basketball-Reference, Brook has averaged 12.6 points on .430/.266/.690 shooting splits, 5.8 rebounds, 2.1 blocks and an assist and is 5-11 lifetime when playing in Orlando. However, three of those wins have come over the last two years with the Bucks.
Robin, meanwhile, has fared very well whenever he’s taken the trip down to central Florida.
Robin has averaged 11 points on a .522/.667/.906 slash line, 5.8 rebounds and 1.3 blocks and is 6-7 lifetime in his 13 road appearances when going against the Magic. That includes a performance in which Robin came within a point of his career-high of 30 points and led the then-New Orleans Hornets in scoring in what ended up being a 97-94 victory back on December 26, 2012. With Robin in the fold with the Bucks this year, Milwaukee has won both of their tilts against Orlando.
Of course, charting both Brook and Robin’s performances when visiting Orlando is missing plenty of context in terms of the various teams they’ve been on, save for when they’ve been in Milwaukee, respectively. On the surface, though, Brook’s struggles in particular are interesting to discover. Is there a chance that the Disney World experience and nightlife is undefeated? We may soon get to the bottom of this one.
In all seriousness, the fact is that the NBA appears to have a found a viable solution to what was looking like a season that would end ambiguously and with no champion crowned. There are still plenty of hurdles to be worked on at this stage, but optimism that we may have some kind of basketball in our lives in the foreseeable future has steadily grown in recent weeks.
As the NBA hopes to descend upon Disney World in a few weeks, if all goes according to these plans, the Lopez brothers may as will be at home with this unusual and one-of-a-kind experience. It truly is a small world after all.