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NBA Players, Others Order Wine and Wine Fridges to the Bubble Amid COVID-19

JJ Redick Wine NBA Bubble
JJ Redick Andrew H Walker/Emirates Airlines/Shutterstock

Special delivery! Athletes and others inside the NBA bubble in Orlando, Florida, have apparently been ordering wine as well as fridges for their liquor as they remain inside the secure location amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Related: Jessica Chastain, Dwayne Johnson, More Stars Making Quarantine Cocktails

Per ESPN, New Orleans Pelicans guard JJ Redick was one of the first professional athletes to reach out to his New York wine broker and request that several expensive bottles of Burgundy wine be shipped to him. Redick, 36, along with dozens of other NBA players, are stuck in the bubble for the remainder of the season, which could last for several more weeks.

According to the outlet, the Tennessee native even went so far as to purchase an 18-bottle wine fridge to keep his pricey drinks slightly chilled at a recommended temperature of 55 degrees.

“It provides an escape,” Redick explained, noting that he often shares a glass of wine (at a safe distance) with fellow players at the end of the day.

Wine NBA Bubble
Courtesy of Jhart Cellars/Instagram

In order to safely play basketball during the health crisis, the league and 22 teams have been in a bubble in Disney World since July 7. Though teams within the bubble can play games against one another, players aren’t allowed to venture outside the protective structure for items such as meals or groceries. However, deliveries, which are each individually disinfected upon arrival, are permitted.

Once Redick made his wine arrangements, players and others working within in the bubble began to follow suit. While Redick has a designated wine fridge, Portland Trail Blazers guard CJ McCollum has transformed his entire hotel room into a wine storage space of sorts.

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McCollum, 28, keeps his room at 60 degrees when he’s inside it, and makes it even chillier (in the 50s) when he’s practicing or playing a game, according to ESPN. That way, the 84 bottles of wine the athlete has in his room are kept at roughly the correct temperature.

CJ McCollum Portland Trail Blazers Wine NBA Bubble
CJ McCollum Don Ryan/AP/Shutterstock

“You notice [wine-related packages] a lot during the day as they come in,” Heather Messer, who handles shipping and administration for NBA events, told ESPN.

The wine deliveries came weeks after the food initially served within the bubble was turned into a meme. When the athletes and others first arrived in Orlando, they were given a strange medley of plain pasta, chicken, greens, and watermelon that went viral on Twitter in part because each ingredient was individually packaged to ensure cleanliness.

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However, the NBA has since brought in Shawn Loving, who is an executive chef for Team USA basketball, to fix the issue. Since Loving’s arrival last month, players have enjoyed meals including vegetarian whole wheat pasta, egg white wraps filled with sweet potatoes and lean meat and more.

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