While the rest of us are left to the mercy of selfish-ass friends and neighbors who seem hell-bent on catching the coronavirus, NBA players have fortified themselves inside of the ESPN Wide World of Sports campus for one common cause: not to catch that shit.
Yet despite the extraordinary lengths that the league has gone to to ensure the health and wellbeing of its multi-million dollar
assets athletes, apparently these niggas are more than willing to fuck the entire NBA restart up over some Postmates.
Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, I’d like to introduce you to journeyman Richaun Holmes, who isn’t a household name but is the talk of NBA Twitter after breaching the NBA bubble to...pick up some egg rolls—or whatever the hell it was he just had to have.
“After the initial quarantine period, I briefly and accidentally crossed the NBA campus line to pick-up a food delivery,” he tweeted. “I apologize for my actions and look forward to rejoining my teammates for our playoff push.”
As a result of his decision to jeopardize the safety of hundreds of other players, Disney staffers and NBA personnel, Holmes will spend the next 10 days quarantined in his hotel room as part of the league’s re-entry protocols—which gives him plenty of time to come up with an explanation for why he did that shit prior to inevitably getting clowned for being a dumb ass.
As ESPN reports, if players leave the bubble for any unauthorized reason—even if every bathroom on the entire campus is occupied so they haul ass to the nearest Bath & Body Works because they really gotta go—the next 10 days of their lives will be hell. Because not only will they be quarantined, but they’ll be subjected to “enhanced coronavirus testing” that includes having a long-ass swab shoved up their nose. (As somebody who had to have this test done, trust me when I say I’d rather listen to Nick Cannon’s entire catalog than do that shit again.)
But Holmes isn’t the only one. Some guy named Bruno Caboclo, who I’ve never heard of before in my entire life but apparently plays for the Houston Rockets, did the same thing.
“He should’ve known,” a source told ESPN. “It was no secret.”
“These quarantines are the result of separate circumstances in which the players had interactions with members of the public outside the Disney entrance gate, and are in accordance with the health and safety protocols agreed to by the NBA and the Players Association,” the league said in a statement, presumably after shaking their heads in disgust.
Other NBA players are a bit more sympathetic.
“Guys make mistakes. The Postmates—you learn,” Portland Trail Blazers center Hassan Whiteside told ESPN. “I think more mistakes made as we go on, but guys are learning what you can and can’t do. This is new to everybody. So it’s a learning lesson.”
I couldn’t agree more. It is a learning lesson—a learning lesson with some extremely high stakes. As collegiate sports and other professional leagues navigate this pandemic and face the very real threat of implosion, the NBA is one of the rare few that seems to have gone about it the right way: by isolating the entire league from the outside world.
Whiteside’s compassion and understanding as players adapt to the new status quo is admirable, but the fact remains that had Holmes triggered a massive coronavirus outbreak over some damn Postmates, it would’ve derailed the entire NBA playoffs. There are also long-term health problems related to the coronavirus that we know nothing about, which raises concerns about the future of NBA superstars like Nikola Jokić and Russell Westbrook and their ability to continue to play at a high level after contracting the virus.
“There are unknown effects it has on lung capacity, unknown effects it has on cardiac health,” one general manager told ESPN under the condition of anonymity. “What if a 24-year-old catches it in Orlando and, in 14 days, he quarantines and is fine, but then he has these everlasting heart problems? [Or he] gets winded so easily, or he becomes a little bit too susceptible to fatigue? [...] These are all the unknowns.”
So for the time being, I’m gonna need players like Holmes to skip the Uber Eats, partake in the executive chefs and fine dining already at their disposal and stay their asses on campus. Sports will provide all of us with a much-needed reprieve from this terrible-ass year, but none of us can enjoy a damn thing if we don’t all do our part to remain safe.