The Los Angeles Lakers’ championship run would not have been possible without an environment in which they could compete while remaining safe and healthy in the midst of a pandemic. There were plenty of reasonable questions offered at the beginning of the season restart but the NBA, by and large, did a phenomenal job of creating a bubble and enforcing rules that ultimately kept every player from testing positive for COVID in the many weeks that they were in Orlando.
Similarly, the WNBA had its own successful bubble alongside the men at Disney World, playing out their entire season there, culminating in a Finals win for Breanna Stewart, Sue Bird and the Seattle Storm. It’s no secret that the WNBA does not have nearly the financial support and stability that the NBA has so any outside support could only help. That came, in part, via Lakers’ guard Avery Bradley.
In an interview with Forbes, Bradley detailed the efforts made by him and his wife, Ashley, to help support WNBA players – particularly the moms who had their children with them in Wubble as it was affectionately called – during their season:
Working with the WNBA and the league’s players association, Avery and Ashley ended up donating more than $30,000 in supplies to help the players, with an emphasis on the league’s working moms in the bubble. Bradley asked for a list of items the players might need to make their off the court experience just a little bit better and delivered.
Supplies delivered to the Wubble included pack and plays and playpens for the players’ children, art supplies and coloring sets, paint sets and supplies, board games, cards, dominoes, books and educational supplies, ping pong tables, Xboxes and other gaming consoles, outdoor games, a karaoke machine and even a bounce house. The Bradleys also donated health and beauty supplies to the WNBA moms and, in a few instances, emotional support animals.
“One thing that was really important was the moms, being able to make sure their essential needs were taken care of,” Bradley said. “They don’t make as much, obviously, and I wanted to see if I could be of service to them to be able to assist in any way I could so they could focus on just basketball.”
Bradley himself did not join the Lakers in the bubble in Orlando due to health concerns for his son, Liam, who has a respiratory illness. Nevertheless, he was a crucial cog in the Lakers’ machine that ultimately won the franchise’s 17th NBA championship.
Bradley’s gesture, particularly for someone who – by NBA standards – does not earn a ton of money, should not go unnoticed. NBA players have generally been at the forefront of showing support for their colleagues on the women’s side and helping them grow their game. The WNBA has also been a leading league in advancing social justice issues and supporting NBA players like Bradley when they raised concerns about their league not doing enough to communicate those needs. They’re a phenomenal league filled with incredibly talented athletes who are also role models in their communities and deserve the respect and support that Avery Bradley and others have shown them.