Murphy: NBA pulled it off as the bubble bursts clean

Erick Spoelstra got emotional Sunday night.

The Miami Heat coach teared up following his team’s Game 6 elimination by the Lakers, and needed roughly 30 seconds to collect himself before answering the first post-game question.

“The emotions, look, I don’t know. I’m not even like that,” he explained several questions later. “I’m not even like that as a person. I just think all of these experiences this whole year, being in this bubble, being away from your family, being away from your kids, being away from your wife and going through something like this that you didn’t even like contemplate.

“We thought we were going to Game 7 for sure.”

“So I don’t even know how to explain these emotions. I’m sure my wife’s watching, wondering who the heck this is right now.”

In a sense the Orlando bubble burst for everyone Sunday, after over three months of COVID-19 tests, seeing opponents every day in the halls and elevators in this sealed environment and, until families were allowed in for the conference finals, unprecedented isolation.

All of the tensions and weirdness were released that night. Spoelstra had a lot to unload, and not just from losing in the NBA Finals.

The NBA astounded everyone — maybe the government should take notes, and maybe some are — by making it through the whole restrictive process of playing eight seeding games and a regular playoff slate without a single positive COVID-19 test.…

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