ALEXANDRIA—For much of the NBA, their season begins Wednesday night and a former LSUA men’s basketball manager is right in the middle of the action.
Daniel Roy, a student manager with the Generals from 2014-18, originally stepped foot on LSUA’s campus as a men’s soccer student-athlete. After transitioning to a support staff member for men’s hoops, Roy is now beginning his first season with the Charlotte Hornets as the Coordinator of Basketball Operations.
“I am very excited to work with the Hornets,” he said. “I’m excited to learn and understand how the NBA operates. Hopefully we can be successful this year. I’m excited to work with some great people and build some new relationships.”
His four seasons with LSUA were the first four seasons of the program, and LSUA Men’s Basketball Coach Larry Cordaro could see Roy was going to be a future star in the basketball world.
“There was something special about him, especially when he came and knocked on the door and wanted to be a part of what we were doing here with the basketball program,” Cordaro said. “He helped our program from the ground up. Even now, there are things done here that Dan started when he was here. He’s left his mark for sure.”
In the first four seasons of the program, Roy saw the Generals post a 115-17 record, including a 34-1 season in 2016-17 and a trip to the championship game in 2017-18.
During his time with the Generals, among the responsibilities he had, Roy swept the floors and did the laundry. Whatever was needed, he did it to the best of his ability.
“Dan did everything when he was here,” Cordaro said. “He worked out players, washed the clothes, he swept the floor. He did little things that maybe I didn’t know he did until he was gone. Next thing you know, I had a broom in my hand sweeping up the gym floor.
“Everybody loves Dan. They all knew the importance that Dan played in our championship success.”
Prior to being hired by the Hornets, Roy was working in the NBA bubble as a team attendant. Depending on the game worked, he helped unload buses prior to games and help equipment managers set up the locker rooms
Roy helped out on the bench during games and help clean up the locker room and load the buses after.
Even with being isolated, he enjoyed life in the bubble.
“It was probably the safest place to be during the pandemic,” Roy said. “There was a lot of free time if I wasn’t working a game. There were restaurants, pool areas, and a fitness center to keep us somewhat entertained while not working games.
“If we were not working, we couldn’t stay at the arena to watch other games, so we spent most of our time at the hotel. The NBA did a great job putting this all together.”
The NBA was suspended on March 11 and resumed July 22 with three scrimmages against other teams with 22 teams in the bubble.
That start date came two months following Roy’s graduation from the University of Louisiana-Lafayette with his Master’s degree.
Roy was in the bubble for 93 days, and everybody in the bubble was tested every single day.
As for the game experience, it was extremely unique.
“I never really saw a setup like it,” Roy said. “It wasn’t a bad feeling though. The LED boards surrounded the playing court on three sides and on the fourth side, there were socially distanced seats for the staff that was there.
“It was a cool feeling to be a part of the small amount of people in attendance. The built in crowd noise actually sounded pretty realistic and it definitely helped the feeling of an actual game instead of it being silent.”
After the season finished and the Los Angeles Lakers took home the Larry O’Brien Trophy with a six-game series victory over the Miami Heat, it took some adjusting to get back to normal life.
While several players have come forward saying they disliked their time in the bubble, Roy enjoyed his time there. But he was excited to see his loved ones again after being in the bubble for three months.
“I wouldn’t say I was relieved (his time in the bubble) was over, but I was anxious to see my family,” Roy said. “I would say that I was curious what the feeling was going to be like getting back to the real world. It took me a little while to get back in to a routine when I got home, but it was good.”
But when looking back and reflecting on his time in the bubble, he was grateful for the opportunity in the bubble, as it produced countless memories and eventually earned him a spot with the Charlotte Hornets.
“My lasting memory would just be being able to be there the whole three months and seeing everything,” Roy said. “Being a part of the history as a whole. Seeing the boycotted games and seeing the way the NBA handled the whole thing was incredible. Lastly, being able to work the NBA finals and being in the locker room and on the court for that is a dream come true.”
Roy’s Hornets begin their season Wednesday in Cleveland against the Cavaliers, as they try to reach the playoffs for the first time since 2016.