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With NBA's 22-team format, a reality show only makes sense

With NBA's 22-team format, a reality show only makes sense

Now that the NBA has chosen the Wide World of Sports in Orlando, Florida as the location to restart the 2019-20 NBA season many ideas have been bounced around to create the best experience for fans.

With that in mind, DC Sports Live's Nick Ashooh and Wes Hall came up with some cool and unique ideas that could capitalize on the current circumstances we are living in while simultaneously giving the NBA fans a never-before-seen experience. It's time, they say, for a reality show. Or a documentary. Whatever the NBA wants to call it.

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The buzz of getting back to basketball ignited the conversation Nick and Wes shared. Here's their conversation about it:

Wes: We've got 22 teams, nine from the East Conference and 13 from the West Conference. We have to include players, front office personnel, league personnel, and players' families. A lot, right?

Nick: Sure. But the cameras will spend most time following the players. Big names. You'll have a few people that become interesting like on "Hard Knocks", but in the end, I care about seeing what LeBron James is doing in his downtime or Joel Embiid riding a roller coaster in Disney World. They HAVE to have them get on rides at Disney World.

Wes: Cool. We'll zoom into those big-name stories and feature not only the game but the multiple adjustments necessary to pull this off. If they don't show Javale McGee in the Tea Cups we'll have a problem! I need it in my life lol I also need EVERYONE mic'd up!

Nick: This could work as a reality show or documentary really. After the Jordan doc people would LOVE to watch this. There's more than seeing players in their personal lives in a biodome-like bubble setup too. What is Giannis [Antetokounmpo] doing hours before a game? What does Bradley Beal eat? As weird as it is, people would care about that. You'd also get a chance to get a more in-depth reaction to a game than just a post-game presser

Wes: Absolutely! Never before and probably never again would fans get such contained access over an extended period of time. Can we get reality-show testimonials, too? Live fan voting as well? 

Nick: Well you'd need a host. Like Survivor-style. Clearly you and I should take this role since this is our idea. Testimonials are key. I also want to see if anyone would have a taller pour than MJ did when he sat down

Wes: *calls agent*

Wes: I'm also wanting to see three games simultaneously running with play-by-play for all. Talk about system overload.

Nick: Split screen? Yeah, that's a true test to a play-by-play guy's talent. Another idea: having players who are waiting to play sitting in the stands like March Madness and getting real-time reaction from them on what they see in the game they're watching

Wes: We're talking about the NBAAU (my copyright lol)...that's what ball is all about! Split screen, four box... whatever it takes!

Nick: As this setup goes on, sure there's gonna be drama too. Just like any reality show, someone like Patrick Beverly will tick someone off and we'll get a lot more behind-the-scenes of all that. Maybe that's where the fan voting is... "Who's right in this argument?"

Wes: Love that idea! Another must-have is the player food/cafeteria. No greater place to trash talk than the school cafe!

Nick: This feels like such a high school or college set up. I'm here for all of it. It's also a chance to see what coaches and staff are doing. We have to get meetings, maybe film sessions too. Not to mention all the extra steps that have to be taken to keep players safe. That list is endless

Wes: I want it all!!! Let's add players reading fan tweets between games.

Nick: We also could bring back MTV Cribs...you know these suites are gonna be HUGE for certain guys

Wes: YES!!!! Big golf carts and all!

Nick: Player arrivals are still important. Now it's about how they show up to the bubble-like spring training or training camp already has

Wes: Definitely keeping arrivals! Let's add "Take your shot' where fans get to give their coaching strategy in real-time tweets

Nick: Oh I'm sure Twitter will bring in nothing but well thought out ideas...

Wes: Oh Twitter...

Nick: Honestly this could be a reality show that then turns into a documentary. Why limit ourselves? You have more than enough to cover where the show comes out faster than the offseason has the doc.

Nick: This way there are things that we see happen in real-time on the court and get more backstory later.

Wes: Exactly. The opportunities are boundless. The best part of all of this is the fact that there will still be a champion crowned and that team will go down in history with the weirdest championship run in NBA history! Who will win the NBA Battle in the Bubble... that is the only question remaining. 

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Scott Brooks, Wizards adjusting quickly to life in the NBA's bubble

Scott Brooks, Wizards adjusting quickly to life in the NBA's bubble

They began with 36 hours in quarantine, a day-and-a-half of just sitting in their hotel rooms at Disney World, waiting to get to work as the NBA aims to resume and finish the 2019-20 season.

Wizards forward Isaac Bonga talked to his friends on the phone and played XBOX. Head coach Scott Brooks FaceTimed his family. Guard Ish Smith marveled at how similar his hotel room was to the one he stayed in last summer at Disney World.

They had just arrived to Orlando, FL from Washington, D.C. for the NBA's restart. They had to wait those 36 hours and test negative for coronavirus twice before going free.

"The forced relaxation drove me crazy. It was the weirdest thing," Brooks said.

The Wizards were eventually let out of their rooms and on Thursday held their first practice at Disney World; a 5 p.m. get-together that featured real, live basketball, the type they had abstained from for weeks at their training facility due to social distancing protocol.

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They were missing a few players and not just the previously established absences of John Wall, Bradley Beal and Davis Bertans; their three best players. Thomas Bryant, Gary Payton II and Garrison Mathews were all reportedly away from the team; the first due to coronavirus and Mathews because of personal reasons.

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Still, getting out in the open floor and scrimmaging was a major step for the Wizards as they look towards July 31, their first regular season game.

"I thought the practice was outstanding. I was real concerned because we hadn't done anything live," Brooks said.

"I don't know how they did it, how the NBA was able to get it all done. Our facility here, our gym is pretty incredible. The weight room is amazing. The hotels are great. Everything is good. I have no complaints. It's just like a road trip for us."

"It just felt good to be out there," Smith said. "It was very similar to a normal practice that we would have, just coaches have gloves and masks on."

What happens on the court, the NBA hopes, should feel familiar. It's off-the-court that will require the biggest adjustment, as everyone there will be away from their families for an extended period of time and in an environment intended to stop the spread of a worldwide pandemic.

But the early returns from the Wizards were good. They are pleasantly surprised with the situation so far.

"Look, we get to play basketball. To me, it's like going away to basketball camp," Brooks said.

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Charles Barkley jokingly admits he doesn't know anyone on the Wizards besides John Wall and Bradley Beal

Charles Barkley jokingly admits he doesn't know anyone on the Wizards besides John Wall and Bradley Beal

Without John Wall, Bradley Beal and Davis Bertans, Washington's three best players, the Wizards hopes of making the playoffs in the NBA's Orlando restart have taken a hit.

On Thursday, Wizards coach Scott Brooks joined the Inside the NBA team on TNT, where Charles Barkley genuinely asked him who has to step up for the team when the games begin.

Brooks' response was unexpected, yet also hilarious. Here was the exchange:

Barkley: "Obviously, without John and Bradley, your two best players, give us two names that really need to step up for you guys."

Brooks: "Well, I think we should play that game where you name two guys on our team besides those two guys." 

Barkley: "Let me tell you something, I don't know anybody on your team! So I want you to tell us two players on your team."

To Barkley's credit, much of the national media has not paid any attention to the Wizards this season. The team only had one game on national TV this season, a November clash with the lowly Cleveland Cavaliers.

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When basketball does resume, the Wizards are six games back of the Orlando Magic for the eighth spot in the East. Washington needs to make up two games over the final eight contests in order to force a play-in game for the conference's final playoff spot.

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