Lakers Star Rajon Rondo Compares his Walt Disney Resort Room to a ‘Motel 6’ as Other NBA Players Complain About the Food Ahead of the Upcoming Season in Florida

FILE PHOTO: Feb 12, 2019; Atlanta, GA, USA; Los Angeles Lakers guard Rajon Rondo (9) shoots against the Atlanta Hawks in the second quarter at State Farm Arena. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

Los Angeles Lakers star Rajon Rondo was less then impressed with his hotel accommodations the NBA quarantine ‘bubble’ in Florida and compared his room to a Motel 6.

Rondo, 34, was one of hundreds of players who traveled to Orlando ahead of a 22-team league tournament scheduled for July 30th. The league will resume it’s temporarily shuttered season three months ago because of coronavirus pandemic.

Players are being housed in three Walt Disney World resorts across the city, but Rondo called his room at the Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort, where the highest seeds are placed, a ‘Motel 6.’

The veteran NBA player, who raked in more than $100million throughout his 14-year career, shared a photo of the room on Instagram and featured the middle finger emoji.

‘Motel 6 hun,’ he wrote on Thursday. He tagged the official NBA account to further explain his displeasure.

It is one of several faults of the NBA ‘bubble’ players have pointed out, including underwhelming food and fears of coronavirus.

Rondo is lodging at Walt Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort (pictured) in Orlando for the resumed NBA season after it was briefly halted because of the pandemic
Motel 6 responded to Rondo’s photo with a variation of their famous tagline ‘We’ll always leave the light on for him’

Motel 6, founded in 1986 by William Becker and Paul Greene, is a chain of budget motels that has more than 1,400 locations across the United States and Canada.

It became well known through radio ad campaigns where Tom Bodett, a National Public Radio commentator, would use the tagline ‘We’ll leave the light on for you.’

The Los Angeles Lakers didn’t receive a public response from the league, but a spokesperson for Motel 6 chimed in.

‘We’ll always leave the light on for him,’ Motel 6’s official Twitter account responded.

Several NBA fans on social media also weighed in, speculating that Rondo’s never actually been to motel chain and his room looked nice.

‘Yo Rajon Rondo this room is nicer than your jumpshot. What are you complaining about,’ one man wrote on Twitter.

Journalist Rodger Sherman wrote: ‘As someone who has stayed in multiple Motel 6s I would like to clarify that this does not, in fact, look like a Motel 6.’

One user shared a photo of a room he said looked more like a Motel 6 room – and not the spacious one at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort.

NBA fans flocked to Twitter after Rondo’s photo and mocked him for dismissing the Walt Disnet resort room
NBA Buzz: ‘These guys have been rich for way too long. That’s a pretty top notch room!’
Journalist Rodger Sherman added that none of the Motel 6’s he’s visited resembled the hotel room Rondo photographed
One user shared a photo of a motel room to show a room more akin to Motel 6 locations

‘Idk where he goin but every Motel 6 I been in look like this,’ the user wrote.

Some users argued that Rondo, who began his NBA career with the Phoenix Suns in 2006, was used to different luxuries.

‘These guys have been rich for way too long,’ one user wrote. ‘That’s a pretty top notch room!’

Rondo’s complaint about the Walt Disney World bubble accommodations kicked of a storm of other criticisms from a number of other players.

J.R. Smith, 34,  of the Los Angeles Lakers shared the latest critique on Friday when he hopped on Instagram Live to moan about his food options.

Smith: ”I’m just saying bro. You want a Ferrari to run like a Ferrari because you paid for it as a Ferrari, but you keep gassing it up with all this…Chrysler s***’

‘We’re professional athletes and all that, right? Smith asks his Instagram followers.

‘$50million…some of these guys are making a year! And you want us to eat this s***?’

Smith then pans the camera to show a pile of packaged food, including skittles, Doritos and other snacks.

‘And then they’ll be over there crying that they can’t stay healthy and their body’s breaking down and all this other s***…

‘I’m just saying bro. You want a Ferrari to run like a Ferrari because you paid for it as a Ferrari, but you keep gassing it up with all this…Chrysler s***.’

Smith ends the segment by saying ‘he’s just happy to be back’.

A photo of Smith from the same day shows him looking fed up while holding a microwavable Velveeta mac and cheese cup.

Joel Embiid and Montrezl Harrell were among other NBA stars to scrutinize the menu options during the quarantine period.

Meanwhile, players with the WNBA were forced to deal with bed bugs and worms on top of underwhelming food.

 One photo showed a worm on the floor of a hotel room, while another showed a mouse trap in the laundry room.

 While in Orlando, player movement is heavily restricted at Disney, where players will be required to maintain social distancing and undergo regular testing while remaining cut off from the rest of society.

There is a 24-hour concierge service and teams have Disney chefs and cooks to available to create menus for teams, but all of that may not be operational just yet.

Like several other sports leagues, the NBA temporarily halted its regular 2020 season as cases nationwide significantly climbed and players began testing positive for the virus.

Florida is now one of the worst affected states in the country, recording another 11,433 new cases on Friday.

233,000 Floridians have tested positive to the coronavirus since the outbreak began back in March 4,008 state residents have died.

An internal FEMA memo leaked Thursday revealed that the ICU departments in 56 Florida hospitals are now at capacity, with another 35 more than 90 percent full.

Several players have expressed concerns about returning to play after the league revealed in June that 16 players tested positive for the coronavirus after the initial screening for the season.

‘We can’t sit on the sidelines indefinitely,’ NBA commissioner Adam Silver said in a conference call with reporters on Friday. ‘We must adapt.

‘We believe it will be safer on our campus than off it. But this is not business as usual.’

The names of the players who have tested positive were not released, but several players have announced they are infected, such as Indiana Pacers guard Malcolm Brogdon, while others, like Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic, are reported to have contracted COVID.

Out of precaution, Embiid wore a full hazmat suit as her boarded a plane from Philadelphia to Orlando.

Embiid also donned a pair of a latex gloves and a matching white face mask for the flight to Florida

The Cameroonian-born athlete told NBC Sports Tuesday: ‘Unfortunately, I’m not a big fan of the idea. But… I’m going to do my job. I’m not going to let the city down. I’m going to represent my city — that’s what I’ve always done — my family, my teammates. The mindset doesn’t change.

‘It doesn’t matter the fact that I don’t like that idea and I still don’t believe in it. I don’t think it’s going to be safe enough.’

Embiid told the network that he has been social distancing since the 2019-2020 NBA season was suspended on March 11.

However, he doesn’t trust that other stars in the NBA have been doing the same.

‘I know I’m going to do the right things, I know I don’t ever do anything, I only play video games, I’m always home — I don’t do anything. But then again, I don’t trust those other guys to do the same. But, like I said, I’ve gotta do my job,’ he stated

There a currently more than three million confirmed coronavirus cases in the US and a death toll of 130,000


The NBA distributed a handbook describing the amenities for players staying at one of three Disney World properties: The Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, the Yacht Club Resort and the Gran Destino Tower at Coronado Springs Resort.

  • Athletes will have 24-hour concierge service
  • Daily entertainment will be made available, including movie screenings and DJs. Teams can also take fishing trips, golf outings or book a private restaurant for an evening
  • There will be a players-only lounge with TVs, arcade games, and ping pong – although doubles is strictly forbidden due to social distancing guidelines
  • Every team will have a crew of Disney chefs and cooks ‘to create individualized team menus, support team dietary needs, and ensure health and safety guidelines are followed.’ Every player will receive ‘three freshly-prepared meals a day, and four meals a day on Game days’
  • There will be chaplain services, yoga sessions, virtual mind-health sessions and other mental health services
  • Players can book appointments at a private salon or barbershop


SOURCE: Daily Mail, Lauren Edmonds and Alex Raskin