Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error “So, yes, this will be the longest trip,” James said Tuesday, implicitly projecting the Lakers into the Finals.How will it affect competition? Performers, at least since Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin, crave immediate feedback. A frenzied home crowd drives them all beyond their ambitions, at times. The really good teams use road hostility for the same purpose.The problem with the “road” is not just a foul-mouthed fan. It is the quiet time leading up to the game, the mental isolation. How does it work when everyone is a roadie?“They’re used to playing for a higher seed and getting home-court advantage,” Van Gundy said. “It will be fascinating to watch it play out.”Legend has it that a scrimmage among 1992 Dream Teamers, in Monaco, was the best game Michael Jordan and Magic Johnson ever played. It’s a legend because nobody saw it.“The teams will generate their own energy,” Jackson said. “The best in the world will show out on the court.”Baseball is struggling with autophobia as well. When the Dodgers cut a Giants lead to 5-4 in the ninth in real life, the torrential noise from all the stadium decks can drive a young pitcher from the mound by itself. And closers can no longer pump themselves up with theme songs and joyful noise on their trot to the mound.How will the coaches coach? If Team A goes on a 10-2 run, will Team B call a timeout to keep the fans at bay, or is it more likely to keep playing? How carefully will the coaches disguise their play calls? Will we think differently of certain players when we hear what they’re actually saying?“There’s something like 39 mics around the court that will pick up everything,” Van Gundy said. “It will make it easier for the other team to know what’s coming. And how will the players handle it mentally?”James says his body “completely shut down” in the spring after reaching “sixth or seventh gear,” and his engine is more combustible than most.The stars will remain stars. The others might be more questionable, but name any week of a typical NBA season, even a playoff season, that is played with uniform precision.In the end, the fans face the most adjustments. No longer can they celebrate or agonize communally. Will a Lakers win be as important, as valuable, if there’s only one pair of hands clapping?“It’s 2020,” said Javale McGee, with a shrug. “The whole world has a lot on its shoulders.”Wisely, the NBA created a new world. Now we see if it supports life as we knew it. With nearly a full season in the books, this will not be a “yeah-but” champion.“You can make the case that, if all goes as planned in the bubble, this will be the toughest championship to win,” said Mark Jackson, who analyzes ABC/ESPN games with Jeff Van Gundy. “If there’s an asterisk, maybe it should go the other way.”Say what you will about the fast test results that the privileged jocks get but no one else can. The NBA, NHL, MLS and WNBA have gone to unforeseen lengths to determine a champion and to make sure these short-term professionals do not lose a year of their careers, which are severely pro-rated.The networks assault us with this endless, pointless LeBron vs. Jordan debate, but you don’t clarify that argument if you let a virus deprive James a chance for another title at 35.The NBA is spending $150 million on the Orlando bubble itself and losing more than $1 billion in revenues atop that. A champion will be identified no later than Oct. 13. Aside from Olympic years. James never has been separated from his family like this. Where were they all standing when the music stopped?The Lakers were sitting on top of both the Western Conference and the rim, knocking away shots like kings on a mountain. The Houston Rockets, also known as Smurfin’ USA, were trying to find a title by running through everyone’s legs.The Milwaukee Bucks, a fiery dumpster for so long, were setting historic standards for creating garbage time. And the Clippers had learned to win in between guest appearances by Kawhi Leonard.The music comes back on Thursday night, with the dance floor moved to Orlando, with the players comfortable but locked down nevertheless. No fans, no home courts, no long flights. Emotions must be homemade. Escape will be impossible.