How NBA players are entertaining themselves amidst the league’s suspension

Video games, Tik Tok, and watching their own highlights are popular ways to pass the time among NBAers who could be on hiatus until June.

Memphis Grizzlies guard Ja Morant stands on the court during player introductions before an NBA basketball game against the Orlando Magic. He reenacted this introduction on Tik Tok while being prohibited from playing due to coronavirus. AP Photo/Brandon Dill

The NBA could be on hiatus for up to three months, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.Β  That means no competition, no entertainment for fans, and a long time off of work for the players.

The league officially suspended the season “until further notice” on March 11 after two NBA players tested positive for COVID-19 — Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert and guard Donovan Mitchell. The NBA has placed precautions on players to deal with the virus. According to Wojnarowki and The Athletic’s Shams Charania, players can either stay in the markets where their teams compete, given they conduct daily checks-ins via FaceTime or Skype, or return home and practice social distancing. They’ve also been allowed to still do individual workouts at team facilities.


However, like many others who are stuck inside, players are finding ways to entertain themselves outside of basketball. That means plenty of video games —Β  NBA2k20 being a favorite — movies, board games (especially if you are the Celtics’ guard Grant Williams), and a favorite new-trend: watching old highlight videos of themselves.

That’s right – if players can’t compete on the court, they’re spending their time reminiscing about when they could. The recent pastime was first tweeted by the Nets’ Spencer Dinwiddie, who had a feeling other players were doing it.

Many NBA players responded to his tweet, admitting that they’d been doing it for hours at a time – including Mitchell, who detailed the trend on Good Morning America on Monday while being in isolation.

β€œSome of the guys are watching their old highlights. I’ve been doing a lot of that – watching myself through college, through the NBA, it’s kind of bringing back good memories, but you miss the game. You miss playing in front of some of the best fans in the world in the NBA.”

Celtics forward Jayson Tatum said he spent “all day” on Sunday watching highlight film of himself and others. That includes Nets point guard Kyrie Irving; Tatum retweeted a compilation video of Irving’s dazzling handles and moves.


The clip featured Irving’s time on the Celtics, and Tatum praised his former teammate for one of his moves against the Hawks.

Other players, including Steph Curry, tweeted that they had been doing the same.

Steph Curry:

Bradley Beal:

CJ McCollum:

Ja Morant:

Miles Bridges:

Trae Young:Β 

Meanwhile some players, such as the Sixers’ Matisse Thybulle, have spent their time on Tik Tok. The social media video platform is most popular for viral dances and skits.

The Grizzlies’ Ja Morant hopped on the app as well to reenact his player announcement intro that’s done right before the game.


Sixers big man Joel Embiid has spent his time playing video games such as FIFA. He tweeted some analytical critiques of the game.


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