To be honest, Bismack Biyombo wishes he was playing basketball right now. "The desire was to play," says Biyombo M&F. "I wanted my team [the Charlotte Hornets] to play in the bubble."
As Vice President of the NBA Players Association, his main goal was not to focus on himself or his team – to make sure basketball returned in some form after the game was suspended in March due to the coronavirus pandemic.
"The big picture was making sure basketball came back and what it was going to be like," he says.
The end result was the 2020 NBA Bubble, an isolation zone in Walt Disney World that plays regular season and playoff games at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. 22 teams were invited to take part in the bubble – where there are strict rules about what players and staff can and can't do – but the Hornets weren't part of it.
However, Bismack is not bitter or angry. Instead, he sees it as an opportunity to improve and come back stronger than ever. He also uses this time to focus on the Bismack Biyombo Foundation, which through athletics, education and clinics helps create opportunities for children in his home republic of the Congo.
"If you give me that much time, this is a great opportunity to improve and develop the little things and make sure I get the most out of the year," he says. "I wanted to get better as a player and focus on the businesses I do."
Bismack recently took the time to speak to M&F about exactly what he is doing to become a better player, how he changed his training routine, and why so many NBA players are switching to a plant-based diet.