Two players have already broken the NBA’s strict quarantine ‘bubble’ conditions, while an Instagram model claims to have received an invite by an unnamed star.
Houston Rockets forward Bruno Caboclo and Sacramento Kings centre Richaun Holmes broke quarantine at the NBA’s Disney World complex near Orlando and have been ordered to self-quarantine in their hotel room 10 days before resuming team activities.
‘NOT A FAN’: NBA star wears hazmat suit to bubble
The news comes on the same day that Houston Rockets guard Russell Westbrook announced on social media that he had tested positive for the virus and was in quarantine.
Holmes posted a statement on his Twitter feed that read: "After the initial quarantine period, I briefly and accidentally crossed the NBA campus line to pick up a food delivery.”
“I am currently in quarantine and have eight days left. I apologise for my actions and look forward to joining my teammates for our playoff push.”
Caboclo “inadvertently” left his room during the self-quarantine period upon arrival at the Grand Floridian last week, multiple media outlets reported.
The NBA mandated personnel to stay in their rooms last week until testing negative for COVID-19 each of the two days immediately after their arrival, with the policy attempting to ensure that everyone who enters the bubble is free of the virus before they can interact with others.
As recently as Sunday, the Rockets believed that Westbrook and James Harden - neither of whom travelled with the team to Disney World last week - would be with the team in the next few days.
In Westbrook's case, that now seems most unlikely.
“I tested positive for covid-19 prior to my teams departure to Orlando,” Westbrook wrote on his Instagram page.
“I'm currently feeling well, quarantined, and looking forward to rejoining my teammates when I am cleared.”
Instagram model says she received invite
Meanwhile, Instagram model Anna Mya claims to have received an invite from a player into the NBA bubble.
“I already got invited to the bubble,” Mya tweeted. “Yea the season definitely ending early.”
After a flurry of replies Mya denied there was anything untoward going on, claiming she might take up the invitation when visitors are allowed.
“People calling me a snitch like it’s not known that they can have visitors in like 5 weeks,” she tweeted.
“Wow y’all are gonna get me uninvited now.
“Y’all keep saying I’m going to fumble the bag. Me & him are laughing at this sh*t right now.”
Players are not allowed to have guests (including family) in the bubble until the second round of the playoffs - about six weeks away.
That fact led Stephen A. Smith to question how players will survive without being able to have sex.
“Do we really think the ‘recreational activities’ that these guys are accustomed to are going to be compromised for three months?” Smith asked on ESPN’s ‘First Take’.
“I mean, somebody’s gotta say it.
“You really, really think somebody’s gonna be without their wives or their woman? The guys that are married without their wives, the guys that ain’t married without their woman.
“You really, really think they’re honouring a bubble for three months?”
When it was pointed out that the players can see their families after the first month, Smith said they “wouldn’t last three weeks let alone three months.”