Nothing Good Comes Out of Being Comfortable

In case you missed the fourth installment of the weekly MAK show, Mark-Anthony Kaye’s weekly segment Fridays at 8:15am on the ESPN Morning show on ESPN LA 710 and the ESPN app, today’s was a must listen. Kaye provided the morning show with thoughts on what the NBA and MLS did right with their respective “bubble” atmospheres, his growth as a leader, and much more.

On Getting the Bubble Right

With major sports restarting around the country, the issues surrounding COVID-19 safety and testing have been thrust to the forefront of the conversation, especially as Major League Baseball has recently grappled with major virus issues. In just the past five days, there have been more than a dozen postponements or schedule shifts, but after running into issues early on in their respective “bubble” atmospheres, the MLS and NBA both registered zero positive tests in their latest run.

On the MLB restart, Kaye added, “I just feel like there wasn’t, maybe, enough people trying to do the right thing. [sic] We had a couple teams earlier on in the tournament who were kind of in the same, similar situation as that baseball team [Miami Marlins]. So, I think it just happens when people, you know, drop the ball a little bit. So I’m not surprised it’s happened. I think [sic] we should praise the leagues that don’t have any cases like the NBA, and stuff like that, but I’m not surprised that something has happened like that [MLB].

The morning show hosts, pressed further, and wanted to dig a little deeper into what Major League Soccer did to make the bubble work.

“Well I think, you know, once we got in here they were pretty strict on [sic] no one hanging out with anyone, and, I can only speak for our team, but like with Bob, he made sure that we were just going to meal rooms, getting our food, eating in our room for the first couple of weeks. We were just trying to make sure that we didn’t leave ourselves open to any possible risk, because we could only [sic] control what we do, you know, when you’re around twenty-something teams. So, I think the plan for a bubble is real if everyone coming in has taken the right precautions, and we’ve seen it with the NBA. With us we were unfortunate with a couple of teams, but now it feels a little bit better knowing that there’s no cases within the bubble, and you can breathe a lot easier.

On MAK’s Growth as a Leader

Mark-Anthony started his MLS career as a rookie for LAFC in their inaugural season, and after one major injury and two more MLS season under his belt, has emerged as one of the most notable leaders on the Black and Gold squad. Morning show host LZ Granderson wanted to know what Mark has learned about himself through this experience.

“I think I’ve just learned that, you know, there’s greater heights to reach. I think a lot of us when we’re in comfortable situations, we tend to just stay where we are.  And I think, you know, with everything going on in the world, and yeah having to have a better leadership role here with the team, I think I’ve just started to push myself to continue to reach higher limits [sic]. Yeah, it’s nice, because you’re developing as a person your character is developing, and eventually that’s going to turn into some positive change. So, yeah it’s been good, and I’m glad that there’s kind of like growing pains through it, but it’s part of the process.

Next Up, Quarterfinals

After dismantling the reigning MLS Champion Seattle Sounders in the MLS is Back tournament Round of 16 matchup Monday night, LAFC will be taking on Orlando City Soccer Club in the Quarterfinals Friday afternoon. Kaye gave a little insight into what the Club will be facing, beginning with if he thought Orlando City, being the “host” city, had a “homecourt advantage”.

“I want to say…at this point, no, they don’t have a home court advantage. They definitely think they do. I think they think this is their tournament to win. So, they’re going to go into this game really confident, which we’ll be aware of. But, other than that, they’ve been playing some good football [sic]. I think whenever you have a coaching change it riles the guys up, and the fact that they’re the local team, that also riles them up. So, I think they’ve got a couple mental things going for them. But again, this game’s [sic] won on the field and, you know, we’ll have the opportunity to really try and push the game and try and give them a game they haven’t had in their first four so we’ll see how they deal with it. But again, we’re always excited to have another opportunity to play the way we play.

For more, check out the full audio above. Make sure to tune in to the MAK Show every Friday at 8:15 a.m. PT on the ESPN Morning show on ESPN LA 710 and the ESPN app, you won’t want to miss it.