As America’s basketball superstars head into the National Basketball Association’s isolation “bubble” at the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida, for their delayed and shortened season, some have shared tone-deaf complaints on social media about their new living conditions.
Players are required to quarantine for two weeks before the league’s July 30 relaunch, meaning they must limit contact with others and will have all meals delivered directly to their hotel rooms. Nearly immediately after entering “the bubble,” players began sharing their complaints on social media about everything from the food and WiFi to their resort lodging accommodations.
The Lakers’ LeBron James compared his luxury suite to heading into a prison sentence, while his teammate Rajon Rondo compared his room to a “Motel 6.” The Lakers are staying at the newest hotel on the campus, the Disney Grand Destino, where suites typically cost about $500 per night.
Rajon Rondo doesn’t seem pleased with his Orlando room. pic.twitter.com/hjwB2g0tk8
— Legion Hoops (@LegionHoops) July 9, 2020
The 76ers’ Joel Embiid posted a photo of his multi-course meal, joking that he was going to lose weight during the special isolated season.
Joel Embiid’s posts about the 48-hour quarantine food. ??? pic.twitter.com/vPQfBiMv9y
— Legion Hoops (@LegionHoops) July 10, 2020
Houston Rockets guard Ben McLemore and the Lakers’ J.R. Smith both posted their disapproval with their food.
Lakers guard JR Smith goes live on Instagram after landing in Orlando. He declares: “This shit is ass” just minutes after arriving in the #NBABubble pic.twitter.com/luUVO5fRlF
— NBA BubbleReport (@TheNBABubble) July 10, 2020
Ben McLemore doesn’t fw the Orlando food either ?? pic.twitter.com/hlWY6iWwlF
— Rob (40-24) Rockets (@Hou5ton4L) July 10, 2020
This is not Sysco cafeteria food. USA Today reports the NBA partnered with restaurants such as Del Frisco’s, Joe’s Crab Shack, Morton’s, The Oceanaire, Palm, and Saltgrass for room delivery service, as well as allowing each team to bring in their own culinary team and personal chefs.
On average, NBA players make over $7 million each season, so while many of their fans face unemployment and coronavirus lockdowns in their own homes, players’ complaints about traveling to a sanitized luxury resort that most Americans could never afford ring hallow.
But what really makes these complaints rich is that the NBA is notoriously the most woke of all professional sports leagues, with both players and coaches who enjoy leaning into progressive politics. Whether it’s speaking out against Muslim travel bans, calling for gun control, or getting in fights with Fox News’ Laura Ingraham, NBA players are always free by the league to stick their neck out for their political beliefs, unless they believe in democracy for Hong Kong, that is.
All that to say, this special season at Disney is also going to be marked by the NBA’s progressive virtue signaling, where each of the three arenas where they will be playing will have “Black Lives Matter” painted on the sidelines. Players are also allowed to display league-approved social justice messages on their jerseys throughout the tournament.
Approved messages include phrases such as “Black Lives Matter,” “I Can’t Breathe,” “Equality,” and my personal favorite, “Group Economics,” which I like to imagine may have been first proposed as “seize the means of production,” but was watered down to the less direct “Group Economics” instead.
It would be an incredible, clarifying moment if some of the sports journalists allowed into “the bubble” would ask the players posting complaints about their steak if they believe we should destroy “the 1 percent,” as many in the “group economics” crowd believe.