Matisse Thybulle’s NBA Bubble Documentary is the Summer Blockbuster We Need Right Now

Screenshot from Matisse Thybulle's YouTube page.

Werner Herzog. Ken Burns. Matisse Thybulle?!

The 76ers uber-talented rookie is adding to his list of in-season accomplishments outside of his uncanny ability to not purchase enough Chick-fil-A biscuits before flights by documenting the strange days inside the NBA bubble in a special series the 22-year-old arts enthusiast shoots and edits himself.

Thybulle dropped the first in the series on his YouTube page this weekend and did not disappoint, providing compelling footage of the extraordinarily weird process of having to move to “luxury jail” for three months, as his good friend Tobias Harris described it.

Check out the nine-minute look inside the bubble at the Disney Wide World of Sports campus:

“Look, Tisse, you’re going to do this. It’s your camera. Nick my man, but he works with the Sixers. But you, you can make your own documentary for when we win the ship, our own 30 for 30.”

I absolutely second that, Harris, and I need another episode more than I need the approval of my wife or the love of my son. It’s just a fascinating insight into how Disney is hoping to pull this off, keeping athletes worth millions to their respective franchise safe in the middle of what is potentially ground zero for COVID-19 in America.

The moment the team is brought to the Grand Floridian they’re whisked away to a conference room, tested again for COVID-19, given an introduction to the site and the processes by a health representative, and ushered away to their rooms after testing negative for the virus.

It’s striking to see everyone wearing masks, asking for hand sanitizer and refusing to shake hands. Harris, who is easily the standout of the episode, practically has to beg his teammate to dap him up on the plane. Everyone passed the COVID-19 test, he just wants some human contact, I’m with you Tobi. SOMEONE DAP HIM UP AND SOMEONE GIVE ME A HUG ON THE STREET. I’m tired of being rejected. I’m wearing a mask, it’s fine. It’s a giant clown mask, but it still counts.

It will be interesting to see how practice and training is pulled off in future episodes, but Thybulle focused mainly on settling into the his room for the first episode. Also, it becomes quite apparent that no matter how many millions of dollars you make a year there’s nobody on this earth who isn’t ABSOLUTELY PUMPED to find free snacks waiting for them in their room.

Maybe it’s a good thing Zhaire Smith missed the bubble due to injury to spare him the indignity of having to call room service to incinerate the swag bag that had the Hershey’s with almonds in it:


Hell yes. The other freebies awaiting NBA players upon arrival? An assortment of officially branded NBA masks, a personally monogrammed pillow and what can only be described as some kind of draconian sex chair. Where’s the compartment for the handcuffs and the switch that turns on the vibrations?

Your confusion over the futuristic sex chair was all of ours, Matisse. God speed trying to figure that one out.

Also, for all the complaints over the food, it didn’t look as Fyre Festival-like as so many made it out to be. Chicken and pasta with what looks to be a delightful brown mushroom sauce that has to taste better than it looks. Not too shabby during a pandemic:

Mama mia, that’s good eating.

It was a great nine-minutes and episode two. If I might suggest a few possible storylines for future episodes:

  • It looks like Ben Simmons spent his first day in the bubble fishing the lagoon outside the Grand Floridian. For the love of god PLEASE give us an entire episode of Ben Simmons fishing. Matisse, if you throw in some fishing bloopers a la the immortal Bill Dance you’ll have a huge hit on your hands.
  • What are we even doing here if you don’t document the reunion of Tobi and Bobi, who is currently in the bubble with the Dallas Mavericks and has been spotted canoodling with Luka Dončić? We all know Dončić is just a flavor of the week, a promiscuous little tart. The love Tobi and Bobi share is forever and must be recorded for everyone to see.
  • I need footage of Joel Embiid getting overly upset/competitive playing FIFA. Bonus if he gets so mad he smashes a controller on the floor.
  • Document the process of all the teams having to leave the bubble in two weeks after players have been found sneaking visitors in and multiple athletes test positive for the virus. Should be some great footage.

Great stuff, Matisse. Have fun with that sex chair tonight, you’ve earned it.

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