Basketball stars, they’re just like us: stuck ordering takeout from Portland restaurants.
In constructing the rules of conduct for players during this pandemic-plagued NBA season, the league issued a 134-page tome outlining health and safety protocols, one of them being that teams on the road would be allowed to leave their hotels to grab dinner in only a handful of league-approved restaurants in each host city.
According to ESPN, "[t]he restaurant must have outdoor space or a secure private room that doesn't share air space with the rest of the establishment. Servers must wear masks and faceguards, maintain a distance of 6 feet and be in the same room with players and coaches only when absolutely necessary. There must be a secure entrance and exit path to limit exposure to the restaurant staff and other diners."
Last week, the NBA released its list of approved dining destinations. It includes the spot where the LeBron James-era Miami Heat celebrated its wins, the steakhouse where Coach Gregg Popovich marked his 1,000th career win and, naturally, several Houston-area spots owned by Trump-supporting Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta.
So, which Portland spots will some of the world's greatest athletes be eating at this season?
ESPN notes that "[s]ome of the better NBA restaurant markets—including Los Angeles, Minneapolis, New York, Portland and San Francisco—have no entries listed for various factors, including league-mandated travel restrictions."
In other words, Portland restaurant dining rooms are all closed by Gov. Kate Brown's executive order—and the NBA isn't on board with the whole "outdoor drinking shed" concept.
The article says the list "is subject to change during the season." For now, though, hope you're into hotel food and Caviar, LeBron. In towns where restaurants aren't available, players are restricted to takeout and room service.