When the NBA returns to play at the end of this month in Orlando’s Walt Disney World Resort, there will undoubtedly be talk on social media about game results and individual performance.
But even before opening tipoff, social media reactions have already come pouring in about the meals that players have been served once arriving in Florida.
The NBA will officially resume play on July 30 with 22 teams that could potentially make the playoffs after the season was suspended in March due to COVID-19.
Some players arrived in Florida on Tuesday, July 7, including Denver Nuggets guard Troy Daniels, who created the online chatter after showing his meal on Instagram Live.
Some said Daniels’ meal looked eerily similar to the food given at Fyre Festival, a 2017 music event thrown by Ja Rule and his now-jailed business partner Billy McFarland, a fiasco that led to McFarland being sentenced for wire fraud.
The guests were promised gourmet meals before arriving at the Bahamian festival but got lettuce-tomato-cheese sandwiches in plastic foam containers instead.
“Fyre Fest 2.0 in the NBA’s bubble. Documentaries will be made,” one person tweeted on Tuesday next to a split image of Daniels’ meal and Rule and McFarland.
“NBA tricked their players into attending Fyre Fest, you hate to see it,” someone else tweeted.
Brooklyn Nets guard Chris Chiozza was another player who arrived in Florida and shared a photo of his meal, which looked even closer to the Fyre Festival food than what Daniels was given.
The jokes continued after Chiozza sent his photo. Some then brought up LeBron James and said he definitely wouldn’t partake in the meals given out so far.
“No way Bron eating this LOL,” tweeted NBA free agent Isaiah Thomas.
“Whole league eating commissary food LeBron eating Torchys tacos,” another person chimed in.
Although the meals weren’t quite as sparse as the photos seemed to indicate — the complete menu listed the meal components as Fresh Garden Greens, Arugula, Watermelon, Pickled Red Onions, Goat Cheese with Raspberry Vinaigrette, Tomato and Mozzarella Caprese Salad, Italian Grilled Chicken with Natural Jus, White fish with Tomato and Dill Topping, Polenta with Sundried Tomatoes, Pasta with Impossible Bolognese Sauce, Roasted Summer Vegetables — a reporter for The New York Times tweeted that the skimpy-looking meals will look much better after a couple of days, something that Daniels also believes.
“Lmaooooo .. the food will be better after the quarantine process.!! I’m sure of it,” he tweeted on Tuesday, July 7.
Players and the staff accompanying them to Orlando must remain quarantined in their hotel rooms for 48 hours to clear two negative coronavirus tests within that span. Once those hurdles are cleared players will have far more options to move about and choose from the restaurants on the Disney campus, which the NBA clarified on Wednesday after the “bubble food” issue began trending on social media
“During the required quarantine period when teams first arrive to the NBA Campus at Orlando, meals are delivered directly to hotel rooms,” an NBA spokesman said in the statement. “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.”