[Note from News Editor Monique Judge: As an editor for The Root, I disavow and disagree with Jay’s blatant disrespect for the Los Angeles Lakers, a team that is a national treasure and a gotdamn dynasty.]
Outside of Damian Lillard snatching the soul out of the Mavericks on Tuesday night, one of the most memorable moments from the NBA bubble was when friends and family surprised members of the Phoenix Suns during their player introductions.
As much as we’ve enjoyed the games, it’s important to remember that each of these players are not only potentially risking exposure to COVID-19, but also sacrificing time with their loved ones for as long as three months. So as I watched this heartfelt moment live on TV, I can neither confirm nor deny that I shed a thug tear or seven.
Thankfully, the NBA will ease up on its restrictions after the first round of the playoffs, and as ESPN reports, guests will finally be permitted to enter the bubble—but there’s a catch.
Those without “an established pre-existing, personal and known relationship” won’t be allowed into the bubble, where each second-round playoff team has been allocated 17 hotel rooms for guests. The earliest guests could clear the quarantine process and join players is Aug. 31, according to the memo.
So yes, me and you, your momma and your cousin too would be allowed entry, but “casual aquaintances”—sorry, Bumble boos and Tinderonis—are a no go.
Per the NBA’s policy, each player is allowed up to four guests with exceptions made for children. But ol’ girl (or boy) who keeps crawling into your DMs with that timely “WYD?” She’s gotta stay her ass home.
“As one general manager told ESPN, the issue of casual acquaintances ‘could create problems within your team — and maybe someone else’s too’ and has been a significant topic of discussion among organizations hoping to minimize internal drama as the playoffs unfold.
Basically the league is calling NBA players messy.
In order to preserve the safety of the bubble, guests will be required to quarantine for seven days off-site or three days in the team’s market prior to their arrival, then for four more days on the Disney campus. Additionally, players will be allotted one ticket per guest per playoff game, with an additional seat available to
“casual acquaintances” pretending to be relatives small children.
These family reunions will give players a much-needed jolt of morale, though I wonder how many lemon pepper wings Clippers star Lou Williams will try to smuggle in as guests.