The NBA hotline to report protocol violations in the bubble in Orlando is both a measure of accountability if people involved are really flaunting the rules, and also an element of a dystopian surveillance state, if you really want to get dark.
It’s also a way to play pranks, of course.
“I turned in LeBron yesterday. I’m turning in Pop today. I’m trying to turn all these guys in. I think it’s phenomenal. We’re going to be the only team left when I’m done with this hotline thing,” L.A. Clippers coach Doc Rivers joked to reporters on a conference call Wednesday.
While a war of attrition could end up playing a role in the NBA restart — the nearby MLS restart tournament in Orlando has had two teams drop out already because of team-wide coronavirus outbreaks — Rivers said on a more serious note he thinks the hotline is a good idea to try and keep everyone honest in a very weird time.
“No, you know, it’s funny, I know about it, but I don’t think it’s a problem at all. I think it’s good. This is not some normal thing. COVID obviously, it’s not only that you can get sick but you can get other people sick, and so this is very important for all of us. We want to do our jobs. So I think having a hotline, I guess that’s what they’re calling it, I guess that’s important,” he said.
Montrezl Harrell wants it on the record he is not using the hotline.
“Come on, now. Do you think I’m a player that has used the hotline? I haven’t used the hotline, honestly. To each his own, man. Whatever people try to do, it’s up to them. Like the quote I just said, everything that you do is truly up to you, it’s your choice and your decision that you make. I’ve been chilling, I’ve been enjoying my teammates. We’ve been fishing; me, [Paul George] and Reggie [Jackson] been getting out there, so we’ve been finding ways to stay sane and just basically build our team camaraderie and just grow together as a team.”
More news for Thursday:
- Whither Zubac, Shamet and Morris? Sabreena has the story of Rivers talking (or not) about three notable Clippers absences at present, as well as the arrival of JaMychal Green.
- Clippers join The ALLIANCE: The Clippers became one of 11 Los Angeles-area pro teams to join forces and create a coordinated program to fight racial injustice and provide opportunities in the community to people of color, particularly Black people locally. The initial commitment is said to be for five years.
The ALLIANCE: Los Angeles. We are the 11 pro sports teams of greater LA, united to fight racial injustice, build new opportunities, and drive meaningful change through sport. #TheAllianceLA #PlayEquity— LA Clippers (@LAClippers) July 14, 2020
We are working to level the playing field: https://t.co/k7JvEjFyw4 pic.twitter.com/Jh49YN4JeB
- Goin’ fishing: No, I’m not talking about Kenny Smith’s annual series making fun of NBA teams that fall out of contention for the title by says they’re going fishing, as Harrell said, some Clippers literally went fishing in the bubble Wednesday. Harrell got a big one...guess they stocked that pond pretty well!
07.14.20 • National Bassmasters Association pic.twitter.com/WuamxQ4rL0— LA Clippers (@LAClippers) July 15, 2020
- Crawford excited to continue career: Jamal Crawford is now the oldest player in the NBA, and the former Clipper sounds thrilled to get another chance to play (at 40!) for the shorthanded Brooklyn Nets.
- Managing marijuana supplies in the bubble: It may sound silly, but with the NBA not testing players for marijuana usage right now, this story from The Athletic gives some insight on the different ways players use the drug and its derivatives, and also just how much they may have stocked up on for the bubble life.