Back in the normal days of the NBA, a foe was a foe. And that was made even more apparent when a player took to the floor during the game. It could be a trip, a slip or simply collapsing after contact. It has become customary for most players to remain planted until a teammate rushes over to him them up.
On occasions you’d witness a player on the opposing team extend a hand to help the player up and the offering would be ignored while the player on the ground awaited an assist from his teammates.
With the players and league rallying around the Black community — uniting to support Black-owned businesses, highlighting racial injustice, speaking out against police brutality, demanding accountability by those in power and further elevating the Black Lives Matter movement — the trivial “I’m not accepting your help off the floor” act has been pretty nonexistent in the bubble.
“Man, I’m helping any brother I see on the floor,” one player told Yahoo Sports.
If a player has offered to help a player up — from all the games I’ve covered in the bubble — the assistance has been accepted. Here in Orlando, the term “brother” hasn’t just been reserved for members of the same team. Sharing the same hotels has created friendships that wouldn’t have been formed in “normal” times. And even though there is a greater appreciation for each other as human beings, the competitiveness and intensity level on the court hasn’t waned.
But there are coaches who have recently asked players to refrain from fraternizing with opponents as the postseason approaches, sources said. This has been met with mixed reviews among players.