Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know that the NBA season is set to return to Orlando in a way that would seem like a carnival game if it wasn’t backed by billions of dollars.
It’s goofy (no pun intended). It doesn’t make any sense, and honestly, you should probably read a well-researched piece by someone smarter than me if you want to learn anything, because that’s not what we’re doing here.
Instead of preparing for the many ways that each fanbase will undoubtedly feel shorted by this process, I want to talk about how funny it’s going to be to have the Disney complex crawling with NBA players and only NBA players.
Now, the league has already stated that all personnel will be staying at the Coronado Springs Resort, which is described in the linked Orange County Register piece as such:
Parts of that might be English! But it’s certainly not wacky enough for the rest of this process.
No, I want each NBA team arriving elegantly by monorail with an accordingly-branded entourage sporting their team logos. Basically, I wish they would just lean into this and make it a 22-team Triwizard Tournament.
Disney has 28 hotels on property, and there are only 22 teams, so that means that each team should get their own hotel in which to hoard their secret plays and plot against the other 21 teams in peace. Here are some of the easiest team/hotel matches in the most magical place on earth.
Orlando Magic - The Grand Floridian
The Orlando Magic are kings of Florida. Sure, maybe not in the standings, but in our hearts. The rest of the NBA teams should bow down like the animals of Pride Rock with thankfulness, as their jersey sponsor, Disney, has opened up the complex to make this possible.
Sure, it may be a little overpriced and overrated, but I wouldn’t want Nikola Vucevic staying anywhere else for that reason.
New Orleans Pelicans - Port Orleans
Listen, the fact that this hotel even exists is funny to everyone that I know from Louisiana. And being one of those people myself, I couldn’t think of a better way to fraud-proof your New Orleans-themed hotel than actual people from New Orleans. Not the players themselves, but the staffers.
The funniest bit in all of this, outside of the image of Zion eating a little Mickey-shaped waffle for breakfast, is the image of all of the staffers huddled around some big Mississippi River chart table that they surely have in the lobby and just ROASTING the in-house Cajun cuisine.
Houston Rockets - Disney’s All-Star Music Resort
Honestly, this one leans pretty heavily on the fact that James Harden and Russell Westbrook dress as if already they work there. And that’s not even slander! In any other era, maybe they’re rock stars. But in the modern era, kids scream at each other on the internet to defend their honor. It is truly a wild time in which we live.
Los Angeles Lakers - Disney’s All-Star Movies Resort
The All-Star Movies Resort has seen better days, but the top-billing stars keep people coming back for more. Opened amid the Lakers’ three-peat, this hotel sparks images of Hollywood glory, so LeBron can have an almost limitless source of corny captions for his daily Instagram stories.
Portland Trail Blazers - Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort
As is evident by their status as the one in the 29-1 vote to ratify this wacky playoff format, the Portland Trail Blazers do not want to be here. Let’s make them feel like they’re somewhere else with a getaway-themed resort that will closely mirror what their seasons have looked like after facing the Warriors and Pelicans in recent years.
Miami Heat - Disney’s All-Star Sports Resort
Just as the basketball gods should reward the Magic for opening their doors to the NBA, they should equally punish the Heat by putting them at this kitschy mockery of all we love about sports. Nothing about this resort is fun to adults, just like playing with Jimmy Butler, and similarly, while it may seem like a good idea, it’s more sizzle than steak.
Oklahoma City Thunder - Disney’s Yacht Club Resort
The OKC Thunder have been one of the biggest surprises in recent years, and that’s thanks in part to the best point guard they’ve had in recent memory, Chris Paul. The Yacht Club is a perfect spot for Paul to kick back, light up a cigar, and let the kids play in the background. Like the team itself, this hotel is underrated, but first-class all the way.
Milwaukee Bucks – Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge
By nearly every account, the Animal Kingdom Lodge is the best resort on property, though it’s location is a bit remote. That’s a perfect match for the Bucks, who would probably be covered like the Showtime Lakers if they were anywhere but Milwaukee. This would for sure be the most fun of the NBA colonies, as this team is full of tricksters. Honestly, a live stream of Giannis and the Lopez brothers feeding giraffes could be better than 90 percent of what’s on post-quarantine TV.
Utah Jazz – Disney’s Contemporary Resort
Hannibal Buress once called Utah “the least Jazzy place on earth,” and by that same token, Disney’s Contemporary Resort may be the least magical place in Orlando. It’s a great hotel, but just as the Jazz have found a way to take all the fun out of a kids’ game, this place could turn a pumpkin into a bottle of White Out. I’ve never met someone that loves this hotel, but I’m sure their reasoning revolves around words like “sound,” “design,” and several other words that I would tune out like 47 Gobert pick-and-rolls.
Toronto Raptors – Disney’s Old Key West Resort
The Raptors have been through a lot in such a short time as a franchise. Battling through years of irrelevance in the frozen north, they took a big swing on Kawhi Leonard last season and found themselves atop the NBA mountain. Now, they’re cruising to they’re second-straight No. 2 seed in hopes of defending that title. Canada is a lovely place with lovely people, but after all of that hard work, the champs deserve to feel like they’re as far away from the snow and stress of their everyday lives as possible.