A number of NBA players have hurled complaints about the mediocre’ quarantine food they’re served while staying at the Disney World ‘bubble’ ahead of the season start in Florida.
As hundreds of pro basketball players descended upon Orlando on Tuesday in preparation of the resumed season on July 30, the largest headline to emerge was players comparing their subpar meals to ‘airline’ food as images surfaced online.
J.R. Smith, 34, of the Los Angeles Lakers shared the latest critique on Friday when he hopped on Instagram Live to moan about his food options.
‘We’re professional athletes and all that, right? Smith asks his Instagram followers.
‘$50million…some of these guys are making a year! And you want us to eat this s***?’
Smith then pans the camera to show a pile of packaged food, including skittles, Doritos and other snacks.
NBA star J.R. Smith (pictured) shared his review on the meals and snacks provided to players while staying in Orlando, Florida, ahead of the official season start this month
‘And then they’ll be over there crying that they can’t stay healthy and their body’s breaking down and all this other s***…
‘I’m just saying bro. You want a Ferrari to run like a Ferrari because you paid for it as a Ferrari, but you keep gassing it up with all this…Chrysler s***.’
Smith then ends the segment by saying ‘he’s just happy to be back’.
A photo of Smith from the same day shows him looking fed up while holding a microwavable Velveeta mac and cheese cup.
Smith took to Instagram Live to shared video of the snack he was given, including skittles, Doritos, cookies and other unhealthy snacks
Smith: ”I’m just saying bro. You want a Ferrari to run like a Ferrari because you paid for it as a Ferrari, but you keep gassing it up with all this…Chrysler s***’
However, Smith seemed to make a briefly reconsider his reviews on the NBA campus during a second Instagram Live on Friday.
In the video, he excitedly lists off decadent options on the player menu like braised beef short ribs and New York strip steak.
Smith will play on one of 22 teams for an NBA season tournament starting this month. Players have traveled to Orlando stay stay in one of three Walt Disney World hotels in a quarantine ‘bubble.’
But other players like Philadelphia 76ers’ player Joel Embiid were less impressed by the menu.
On Thursday, Embiid shared a photo of his meal with the disparaging comment, ‘definitely losing 50 lbs.’
The photo showed a chicken breast, mashed potatoes, pasta, two salads, and other snack items packaged away in takeout containers.
Embiid then shared a meme showing a skinny basketball player with the caption: ‘Me by the time I’m done here.’
Embiid touched down in Orlando wearing a full hazmat suit after saying he ‘doesn’t trust’ fellow players to quarantine amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Joel Embiid was also not impressed by the food provided to NBA players in Orlando, Florida, this week while they quarantine
The photo showed a chicken breast, mashed potatoes, pasta, two salads, and other snack items packaged away in takeout containers.
The Philadelphia 76ers’ shared a meme joking about his potential weight loss saying ‘Me by the time I’m done here’
Embiid (pictured) boarded the plane to Orlando, Florida, in a hazmat suit this week over fears of catching COVID-19
The star center, 26, was pictured pulling up the hood of the protective suit as he boarded a jet out of Philadelphia with his teammates on Thursday.
Earlier this week, Troy Daniels of the Denver Nuggets shared an underwhelming first look at player meals.
Daniels posted two photos on social media, which included one shot of a red, plastic bag of food placed outside his hotel room on a brown cafeteria tray.
A card emblazoned with the NBA logo described a respectable meal that included pasta with meatless Bolognese sauce and roasted summer vegetables.
However, the contents of the bag were less appetizing, and had a slight resemblance to airline food, as many social media commenters pointed out.
Others likened the meal to the cheese sandwiches given to customers at Fyre Fest, the 2017 music festival that famously failed to deliver any of the luxurious amenities promised to concertgoers.
Daniels (pictured last month) arrived in Orlando on Tuesday with the Denver Nuggets squad
Denver Nuggets guard Troy Daniels posted two photos on social media, which included one shot of a red, plastic bag of food placed outside his hotel room on a brown cafeteria tray
The contents of the bag were less appetizing, and had a slight resemblance to airline food
James’s former teammate Isaiah Thomas doesn’t think the four-time MVP will like the food
A photo shared to social media appeared to show a stark difference in meals served to Troy Daniels and Kyle Kyzma of the Los Angeles Lakers
‘No way Bron eating this LOL,’ Isaiah Thomas, LeBron Jame’s former teammate, wrote on Twitter in response.
On Thursday, he responded to a tweet that compared Daniels’ bland meal to that of Kyle Kyzma of the Los Angeles Lakers.
The Los Angeles Lakers meal that appeared to have a sushi rolls among other options.
‘Lmaooooo … the food will be better after the quarantine process .!! I’m sure of it,’ wrote Daniels.
Los Angeles Clippers player Montrezl Harrell simply shared a photo of what appeared to be baked chicken breast.
‘This ain’t it,’ write Montrezl. ‘Yeah, I’m about to starve out here in Orlando.’
Los Angeles Clippers player Montrezl Harrell shared a displeasing photo of baked chicken that joined one of several complaints made by players this week
Pictured: Montrezl Harrell #5 of the LA Clippers during the second half of the NBA game against the Phoenix Suns at Talking Stick Resort Arena
Arriving with the Houston Rockets, forward Ben McLemore shared a brief 10 second video to Instagram of his steak meal.
The meat was cut apart to fit inside the packaging container and looked a bit small.
‘Not today,’ McLemore says, shaking his head vehemently and closing the top of the container.
Only McLemore’s teammate DeMarre Carroll seemed content with the NBA’s current menu as he praised it on social media.
Ben McLemore (right) shared a photo of his food (left) on Instagram and said ‘not today’
DeMarre Carroll with the Houston Rockets appeared to enjoy his meal and even accused other players of lying about the experience
Carroll: ‘Where I’m from, that’s good cooking right here. I’m not sure if I’m tripping or not’
‘Man, they on Instagram cappin’ man.’ says Carroll. A video he shared showed a meal of chicken breast, green beans, salad, potatoes and a carrot cake.
‘That’s solid cooking where I’m from,’ he added. ‘Where I’m from, that’s good cooking right here. I’m not sure if I’m tripping or not.’
Apart from the food, NBA players have found other problems with their accommodations.
Los Angeles Lakers player Rajon Rondo compared his hotel room to a ‘Motel 6,’ garnering backlash from those who speculated he’s never actually been to motel chain.
A photo shared by Rondo showed a spacious hotel room with a large bed, desk space and typical utilities of a hotel room.
While NBA players complain about their menus, women with the WNBA have been forced to deal with bed bugs and worms.
The WNBA’s nightmare ‘bubble’ rooms in Florida
The WNBA players are facing worms, mouse traps and bed bugs over at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida. Players are currently staying at the academy’s lodge, which has disappointed to say the least.
Players circulated images upon arriving at their temporary living conditions on Monday. More information emerged Tuesday, and NBA players such as Damian Lillard and Nassir Little spoke out against the unsanitary scenes depicted in the pictures.
ESPN’s Kayla Johnson suggested WNBA players would not have agreed to stay in the bubble at IMG Academy if they knew what the food or lodging would be like in Bradenton
Meanwhile the WNBA players are facing worms, mouse traps and bed bugs over at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida. Players are currently staying at the academy’s lodge
One photo showed a worm on the floor of a hotel room, while another showed a mouse trap in the laundry room. Deadspin reported Tuesday that two teams needed to change rooms because of an infestation of bed bugs, quoting a source saying the league is ‘working to fix some issues.’
‘Smfh I hope this is fake,’ Lillard wrote on Twitter.
Little added: ‘Bruh there is no way. That ain’t okay.’
Later Seattle Storm star Breanna Stewart posted pictures of what she claimed were bed bugs under another player’s mattress.
Bleacher Report reported Tuesday that a survey was sent to people in lodge housing, and that IMG Academy executives were working to address the problems.
The WNBA is planning to play a 22-game season before a traditional playoff, all held at the IMG Academy ‘bubble.’
The NBA season is set to restart July 30 with a 22-team tournament at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Campus at Disney World in Orlando, with scrimmages slated to begin July 22.
Players are being housed in three Walt Disney resorts in the city, specifically The Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, the Yacht Club Resort and the Gran Destino Tower at Coronado Springs Resort.
Player movement is heavily restricted at Disney, where players will be required to maintain social distancing and undergo regular testing while remaining cut off from the rest of society.
There is a 24-hour concierge service and teams have Disney chefs and cooks to available to create menus for teams, but all of that may not be operational just yet.
The NBA released a statement Wednesday, emphasizing that there ‘is never a shortage of food options [and] players can always request additional food by speaking with their team nutritionists.’
The resumption of the NBA season comes amid the nationwide coronaivrus pandemic as cases are spiking in several states, including Florida.
NBA STATEMENT ON DISNEY FOOD
‘During the required quarantine period when teams first arrive to the NBA Campus at Orlando, meals are delivered directly to hotel rooms. Each of the 22 NBA teams were paired with a Disney culinary team, who meets with each NBA team’s nutritionists regularly to create menus to support specific team needs. After clearing quarantine, players will also have access to various restaurants on campus and delivery options to choose from. Players will receive three meals a day and four meals on gamedays. There is never a shortage of food options – players can always request additional food by speaking with their team nutritionists.’
Like several other sports leagues, the NBA temporarily halted its regular 2020 season as cases nationwide significantly climbed and players began testing positive for the virus.
Florida is now one of the worst affected states in the country, recording another 11,433 new cases on Friday.
233,000 Floridians have tested positive to the coronavirus since the outbreak began back in March 4,008 state residents have died.
An internal FEMA memo leaked Thursday revealed that the ICU departments in 56 Florida hospitals are now at capacity, with another 35 more than 90 percent full.
Several players have expressed concerns about returning to play after the league revealed in June that 16 players tested positive for the coronavirus after the initial screening for the season.
‘We can’t sit on the sidelines indefinitely,’ NBA commissioner Adam Silver said in a conference call with reporters on Friday. ‘We must adapt.
‘We believe it will be safer on our campus than off it. But this is not business as usual.’
The Grand Floridian Resort & Spa is one of three Disney properties that the NBA will inhabit
Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort outside Orlando, where COVID-19 cases are spiking
The names of the players who have tested positive were not released, but several players have announced they are infected, such as Indiana Pacers guard Malcolm Brogdon, while others, like Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic, are reported to have contracted COVID.
Out of precaution, Embiid wore a full hazmat suit as her boarded a plane from Philadelphia to Orlando.
The Cameroonian-born athlete told NBC Sports Tuesday: ‘Unfortunately, I’m not a big fan of the idea. But… I’m going to do my job. I’m not going to let the city down. I’m going to represent my city — that’s what I’ve always done — my family, my teammates. The mindset doesn’t change.
‘It doesn’t matter the fact that I don’t like that idea and I still don’t believe in it. I don’t think it’s going to be safe enough.’
Embiid told the network that he has been social distancing since the 2019-2020 NBA season was suspended on March 11.
However, he doesn’t trust that other stars in the NBA have been doing the same.
‘I know I’m going to do the right things, I know I don’t ever do anything, I only play video games, I’m always home — I don’t do anything. But then again, I don’t trust those other guys to do the same. But, like I said, I’ve gotta do my job,’ he stated
There a currently more than three million confirmed coronavirus cases in the US and a death toll of 130,000
NBA PLAYER AMENITIES AT DISNEY
The NBA distributed a handbook describing the amenities for players staying at one of three Disney World properties: The Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, the Yacht Club Resort and the Gran Destino Tower at Coronado Springs Resort.
- Athletes will have 24-hour concierge service
- Daily entertainment will be made available, including movie screenings and DJs. Teams can also take fishing trips, golf outings or book a private restaurant for an evening
- There will be a players-only lounge with TVs, arcade games, and ping pong – although doubles is strictly forbidden due to social distancing guidelines
- Every team will have a crew of Disney chefs and cooks ‘to create individualized team menus, support team dietary needs, and ensure health and safety guidelines are followed.’ Every player will receive ‘three freshly-prepared meals a day, and four meals a day on Game days’
- There will be chaplain services, yoga sessions, virtual mind-health sessions and other mental health services
- Players can book appointments at a private salon or barbershop
Disney’s Yacht Club Resort will house several NBA teams for a portion of the summer