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Report: NBA videographer behind 'The Last Dance' footage is filming in the NBA bubble

Jack Baer
·Writer
·2-min read

From the moment it was announced, NBA fans were interested in the NBA bubble.

Twenty-two teams, hundreds of players, coaches and team personnel, all sequestered in Disney World of all places, with nothing to do but play basketball, stay in their hotel rooms and do what they can to stave off boredom. Judging from the follower count of @NBABubbleLife, people wanted to see how that would work out.

Now, it appears the NBA could have a plan to bring those inner workings to the public.

Andy Thompson, NBA Entertainment’s vice president of production, is currently in the NBA bubble documenting what’s happening at Disney World, according to ESPN’s Dave McMenamin.

You may be familiar with a recent work of Thompson’s, the archival footage of the 1997-98 Chicago Bulls used in ESPN’s “The Last Dance.” Thompson was the primary cameraman behind that footage.

Thompson’s plans, from ESPN:

"It's definitely going to be used in some kind of a long-form documentary, a series," he explained. "I don't know where or when. But to get it right is really important and it's really a lot of pressure. Because this can be duplicated, but it can't be replicated. And so we got to make sure that we cross every T and dot every I and make sure we get it right."

An NBA logo is displayed outside a basketball arena Friday, Aug. 28, 2020, at Walt Disney World in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis, Pool)
A closer look at the NBA bubble appears to be in the works. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis, Pool)

While being locked in a resort with hundreds of NBA players and a camera sounds like a sports documentarian’s dream, there were reportedly some significant limits for Thompson due to COVID-19 safety protocols:

"Every arena has its own little backdoors and ways in which you can find a way into a player's locker room or the weight room. Some players park their cars outside, and we can actually approach the players in the parking lot and get some shots of them walking in and talking, interviews. There is none of that here," Thompson said.

"The six-feet distancing is really difficult. The boundaries around the court are off limits. The players are pretty much off limits all the time," he continued. "So you have to be very, very creative with how you go about trying to carve out access and carve out a unique way in which you want to present the game."

Whatever footage Thompson was able to get, there will still definitely be a market for it. This is the most surreal postseason in NBA history, partially defined by a lack of access to the players involved. Hopefully, we won’t have to wait two decades to see the resulting work.

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