Basketball: Steven Adams on NBA bubble - 'It's not Syria, mate'

Kiwi star Steven Adams has brought some perspective to the gripes of NBA players currently housed in an Orlando 'bubble' for the scheduled season restart next week. 

Players are reportedly unhappy with the standard of food and hotel rooms, and being held under strict quarantine rules.

But Adams insists his fellow ballers have nothing to complain about, saying the conditions are more than livable.

“Let’s be clear - this is not Syria, mate," Adams has told reporters. "It’s not that hard… we’re living at a bloody resort. 

"Everyone is going to complain, everyone has their own preferences. Nothing too serious, just a bit of dry food here and there."

Adams, who turned 27 this week, celebrated his birthday in isolation with a "bit of chess, a feed and a dip in the pool".

The Oklahoma City Thunder centre's day also included a bit of pre-season study, with the Rotorua native predicting an influx of technical foul calls when the NBA season resumes.

Adams believes the lack of ambient noise due to empty arenas will allow referees to pick up everything the players are saying. 

Banter between players, coaches and referees is a part of the game, and usually done in good taste, but it can turn heated.

Adams says players will have to step up their professionalism in the post-coronavirus league.

"You might see an uptick in more technical fouls, because [the referees] can hear what players are saying," Adams notes.

"Because, you see, we like to talk behind their backs, but they can actually hear us now, so there's going to be a lot more T's."

Veteran NBA official Scott Foster says adjustments will be needed when the league tips off on July 31 (NZ time).

"Don't know who I'd be more worried for - the players or the referees - at this point," Foster has told NBA TV.

"I know I don't want everything that we normally say to each other going out. Normally, we're all in a professional manner out there, but it is going to be different."

But Thunder coach Billy Donovan doesn't expect a vast change in how games will be officiated in the new environment.

"I do think their total focus is getting calls right, getting plays right," he says. "I don't know if this lack of fans in the building is going to change any of that. 

"They're always evaluating themselves and the league is evaluating them on calls. I don't see them being impacted by the fact there's not going to be any fans in the stands.

"I think they're still going to make the right calls."

Golden State Warriors enforcer Draymond Green leads the NBA in technical fouls this season with 14, alongside Houston Rockets guard Russell Westbrook.