After the Lakers defeated the Heat to take a 3-1 lead in the NBA Finals on Tuesday night, we’re theoretically just one game away from a season that seemed like it was at risk of ending back in March coming to a close almost exactly seven months after it became the first domino to fall when sports came to a screeching halt.
Nobody really knew what to expect when players began to enter the bubble the league set up in Orlando in an attempt to finish out the year, and while two people tested positive when they were initially screened after arriving at the complex, the NBA (like the NHL) managed to pull off the improbable (pending some sort of disaster in the coming days), as not a single one of the thousands of tests it’s conducted over the past few months resulted in a confirmed case.
That’s not to say things didn’t go off without a hitch, as things got off to a slightly rocky start. The meals that greeted teams when they first arrived left a bit to be desired and Rajon Rondo went into Full Diva Mode when he compared his room to something you’d expect to stay in at a Motel 6 because he’s apparently never stayed at a Motel 6.
One of the bigger risks that came with the experiment was the fact that the Walt Disney World Resort employees who helped keep things running weren’t confined to the bubble, which was especially notable when you consider many of them lived in areas where the illness had arrived in full force. However, thanks to regular testing, temperature checks, and other measures that were put in place, things went as smoothly as anyone could’ve hoped.
Russell Westbrook and the Rockets were eliminated in the second round of the playoffs after falling to the Los Angeles team on the verge of taking home the Larry O’Brien trophy for the first time in the decade. However, he didn’t depart without leaving housekeepers at the Grand Floridian with a parting gift, as Brad Townsend of The Dallas Morning News reported he gifted cleaners $8,000 inside a room where they didn’t have to do much work when he cleared out.
Moreover, I'm told, he left the room virtually spotless.
— Brad Townsend (@townbrad) October 6, 2020
Shortly after the report broke, Bleacher Report‘s Taylor Brooks reached out to Westbrook, who neglected to specify the exact amount but confirmed he had indeed left behind a sizeable chunk of cash in addition to a thank you note thanking workers for their effort.
Spoke to Russ Westbrook. Confirmed he left a generous tip & thank you letter to housekeepers in the bubble. He didnt disclose the amount
"They took great care of us. Took the time and energy to do their job at a high level. That was the right thing. I like to do the right thing"
— Taylor Rooks (@TaylorRooks) October 6, 2020
What a guy.