On IG Live, J.R. Smith proposed an alternate idea to help black-owned businesses in the Orlando area, mentioning the Houston Rockets owner in the process.
Since NBA players started to arrive in the NBA bubble, the food provided has been a hot topic of conversation. The offerings on day one were suspect at best, however, some Houston Rockets like DeMarre Carroll and Ben McLemore believe it’ll do just fine.
Newly-signed Los Angeles Laker J.R. Smith took to Instagram Live Friday morning to catch his audience up on how life in the bubble has been going so far, as well as to talk about the NBA’s movements toward racial equality so far.
While Smith seemed to appreciate the gesture of having buses with Black Lives Matter designs as well as the idea of special messages on the back of jerseys, he believes the NBA could go one step further.
“Let me ask y’all a question, began Smith. “Y’all don’t think it would’ve been dope to get some of these black restaurants surrounding the Orlando area to make it equal?” Smith also mentioned Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta, since six of his restaurants quickly took the opportunity to start feeding meals to players and staff in Orlando.
"I think the owner of the #Rockets has all the restaurants in here. I don't see how that's benefitting everybody else. But it's cool though, if that's what y'all wanna do." #LakeShow #NBABubble pic.twitter.com/IojS4H9VOB
— Josh Paredes (@Josh810) July 10, 2020
It’s hard to fault Fertitta for his hustle in making his restaurants accessible to the isolation bubble so quickly. Like every other business in the country, his restaurants under the Landry’s umbrella have taken a hit financially, so the service to the NBA and its staff should at least make up for a little bit of that loss.
On the other hand, J.R. Smith’s idea for getting local black-owned restaurants is a great idea that would help players and the black community alike. Perhaps as the NBA continues to find ways to make a difference, they can work out a way to incorporate Smith’s idea to give players more options while also helping those that need it the most.