NBA fans have shared a collective eye-roll at top league player for complaining about the ‘airline’ menu options and comparing their Walt Disney resorts rooms to ‘Motel 6’ – but player Ja Morant distanced himself by claiming ‘I’m not a silver spoon guy’
As hundreds of NBA players arrived to Orlando, Florida, this week to resume the 2020 season, several of them hurled complaints over amenities and menu options they believe are underwhelming.
Los Angeles Lakers star J.R. Smith, 34, went on Instagram Live to show off several snack options while questioning ‘you want us to eat this s***?’
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***’
Players Joel Embiid, Montrezl Harrell, Troy Daniels and Ben McLemore also shared displeasure over their large meals.
Rajon Ronod, a veteran Lakers’ player, kicked off the firestorm when he compared his hotel room at Walt Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort, where the highest seeds are placed, to a Motel 6.’
But players like Ja Morant, 20, of the Memphis Grizzlies have claims to be enjoying his stay in Orlando and may have taken a subtle swipe at his cohorts.
‘My room is fine. The food is fine. I’m not a silver spoon guy,’ he said, according to Bleacher Report.
Boston Celtics forward Jaylen Brown agreed and urged players to see the larger picture.
Both Ja Morant and Jaylen Brown (left and right), two players staying in Orlando for the upcoming season, agreed there was not reason to complain over the accommodations
‘We understand that the conditions might not be as normal as we’re used to. But no need to complain,’ Brown told Mass Live.
‘I think all of us come from humble beginnings as is, so seeing the bigger picture while we’re down there to not only divert the attention to things that’s going on in the actual world, but come and use our platforms to make a big influence,’ he said.
‘I think that’s the big thing, but the basketball part is going to be easy for a lot of us. We just have to get comfortable slowly but surely.’
Fans shared the sentiment and called them out for appearing ungrateful amid a global coronavirus pandemic that has sunk employement in the US and shuttered several industries.
‘Seeing millionaire NBA players complaining about the size of hotel rooms and the contents of their 18 meals a day in the middle of a global pandemic where even their lowest standard exceeds the average poor person’s highest standard,’ one woman wrote on Twitter.
Scores of NBA fans accused players of being unappreciative of their accommodations at the three Walt Disney World resorts
As several players blasted the food, people pointed to the growing homeless populations and the fact they were able to return to their season
Another chastised players for complaining about their food options after food banks became overwhelmed during the pandemic as people lost their jobs and ability to afford food.
‘@NBA Players, Y’all complaining about the food while people out here hungry, y’all complaining about the rooms while people are homeless,’ the user wrote.
‘You didn’t have to have a season ending, y’all are blessed to have that. Take the good with the bad and stop it.’
Several social media users took aim at the ‘Motel 6’ remarks made by Rondo, who made more than $100million over the course of his career.
‘@NBA players who are playing in the bubble need to stop being cry babies over their accommodations. You did not have to show up and play. Be a better person and stop complaining. @RajonRondo,’ one person said.
Twitter user:NBA players who are playing in the bubble need to stop being cry babies over their accommodations. You did not have to show up and play. Be a better person and stop complaining. @RajonRondo’
NBA fans flocked to Twitter after Rondo’s photo and mocked him for dismissing the Walt Disnet resort room
Journalist Rodger Sherman added that none of the Motel 6’s he’s visited resembled the hotel room Rondo photographed
NBA Buzz: ‘These guys have been rich for way too long. That’s a pretty top notch room!’
‘Yo Rajon Rondo this room is nicer than your jumpshot. What are you complaining about,’ one man wrote on Twitter.
Journalist Rodger Sherman wrote: ‘As someone who has stayed in multiple Motel 6s I would like to clarify that this does not, in fact, look like a Motel 6.’
One user shared a photo of a room he said looked more like a Motel 6 room – and not the spacious one at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort.
‘Idk where he goin but every Motel 6 I been in look like this,’ the user wrote.
Some users argued that Rondo, who began his NBA career with the Phoenix Suns in 2006, was used to different luxuries.
‘These guys have been rich for way too long,’ one user wrote. ‘That’s a pretty top notch room!’
One user shared a photo of a motel room to show a room more akin to Motel 6 locations
On Friday, J.R. Smith shared the latest critique 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.
‘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
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
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.
Rondo, 34, compared his hotel room to a ‘Motel 6,’ garnering backlash from those who speculated he’s never actually been to motel chain.
The veteran NBA player, who raked in more than $100million throughout his 14-year career, shared a photo of the room on Instagram and featured the middle finger emoji.
Rondo is lodging at Walt Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort (pictured) in Orlando for the resumed NBA season after it was briefly halted because of the pandemic
Motel 6 responded to Rondo’s photo with a variation of their famous tagline ‘We’ll always leave the light on for him’
Los Angeles Lakers player Rojan Rondo (pictured) compared his Walt Disney resort room to a ‘Motel 6’ after arriving in Orlando, Florida, this week
‘Motel 6 hun,’ he wrote on Thursday. He tagged the official NBA account to further explain his displeasure.
Motel 6, founded in 1986 by William Becker and Paul Greene, is a chain of budget motels that has more than 1,400 locations across the United States and Canada.
It became well known through radio ad campaigns where Tom Bodett, a National Public Radio commentator, would use the tagline ‘We’ll leave the light on for you.’
The Los Angeles Lakers didn’t receive a public response from the league, but a spokesperson for Motel 6 chimed in.
‘We’ll always leave the light on for him,’ Motel 6’s official Twitter account responded.
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.
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.’
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.
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