Over the past few days all 22 teams participating in the NBA restart traveled to Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida, on a staggered schedule to begin the process of a 48-hour quarantine.
In addition to players needing to remain in their respective hotel rooms, they also must have two consecutive negative tests for coronavirus (COVID-19). The process is to best ensure nobody brings the virus into the bubble.
During this 48 hours, meals that have been delivered to players’ rooms are going viral. It all started on July 7, when the first teams to arrive in the bubble began using their social media to post about the food they were receiving.
Given that the food looked about a small step up from airline offerings, it became a highly discussed subject, likely due to the fact that players were promised high quality meals before going to Orlando.
However, this “low quality” food being posted is only around for the first 48 hours, as the players will be given many different options to choose from after they complete their quarantine, according to Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today:
The NBA will provide enhanced culinary options for the season restart, partnering with an executive chef and a chain of restaurants to supplement several other food and beverage choices. The league informed teams of options and COVID-19 safety protocols in a memo sent late Wednesday.
Executive chef Shawn Loving, who has worked with USA Basketball at the Olympics and other international competitions, will oversee a commercial kitchen where each team can provide one culinary staffer to help prepare additional meals.
Also, the league has partnered with six restaurants – Del Frisco’s, Joe’s Crab Shack, Morton’s, The Oceanaire, Palm and Saltgrass – to provide delivery service to team hotels.
Given that this memo was given to players on Wednesday night, it was likely sent as a response to everyone posting about their food and to provide clarity of the NBA’s plans.
The six restaurants that will be offered as options seem random on the surface, but in fact, all six are owned by Houston Rockets owner Tillman Fertitta. This was likely the easiest way for the league to get various food options into the bubble with an understanding of how important safety measures are.
Either way, it seems as though things will get better for the players, who are already having to deal with strict rules and being away from their families. At the very least, the food will begin to improve, and hopefully it will no longer be a topic of discussion on social media.
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