The prolonged NBA lockout is forcing the competition’s highest paid athletes to count their pennies and develop a more frugal lifestyle, according to new reports.
A World Tour has just been announced, in which 18 elite NBA players will visit London, Puerto Rico, Macau and Melbourne to take part in six exhibition games. And despite reports that an Atlanta businessman will be footing the cost of the tour, it is believed that the athletes are in fact responsible for booking their own accommodation.
While that the players are set to receive between $100,000 and $1 million each for their involvement in the tour, The Public Apology understands that the athletes will be slumming it at a low-budget backpacker hostel on the corner of Flinders and Elizabeth St on the Melbourne leg.
The squad will bunk down in multi-bed mixed dorms alongside a diverse, promiscuous mix of Scandinavian, British, French and German backpackers. The hostel has received a 75% approval rating from previous travellers who submitted an online review on hostelworld.com, mostly due to its complimentary breakfast and washing machine, late check-out time and “party atmosphere.”
One hostel review by ‘Anonymous’, an English male aged between 25-30, read as such:
This is an ace hostel near to everything with all the banks and supermarkets, etc. The bar on a Thursday night is packed though be warned this is a party hostel where people start drinking around 5pm where the bar opens. The rooms can be noisy so if you’re not here to party you may get annoyed. If you are here to party you’ll have a great time!!!! Drank loads of goon here LOL!
Tour manager Spike Munro told The Public Apology that most of the squad had blown their lifesavings as a result of the prolonged NBA lockout and had specifically requested downgraded accommodation for the trip. And given that the majority of players were penciled in to receive their first NBA check for season 2011/12 this November 15 – with no end to the lockout in sight – he hinted that this shoe-string lifestyle could be the future of the NBA.
“Man, you don’t understand how much these brothers were getting paid – those owners were chucking bills around like it was a Lil’ Jon video,” he said.
“I heard the Miami Heat expensed a gold encrusted dancing pole for LeBron James’ bedroom. He can’t give up that lifestyle now – he’s grown too accustomed to it!”
Indeed, things have changed rapidly in the space of a year for a number of highly paid NBA athletes, not least rookie sensation, Blake Griffin. Griffin, whose breakout season at the LA Clippers included winning the annual Slam Dunk competition, told The Public Apology that he had been scouring the ‘budget’ restaurant section of Lonely Planet’s ‘Australia’ for low-cost meals ahead of his stay down under.
“I’m looking forward to sampling some of the Asian delights on Newtown’s King Street,” he said.
“[The Public Apology journalist] Mike Davis told me that Thai Times II is one of the best value eateries in Sydney. Hell, I might even stick around and check out Glebe Markets that Saturday, which has been rated by Time Out and Steve Carfino as one of Sydney’s ‘Top 20’ weekend attractions.”
The World Tour contract is a welcome relief for New York Knicks big man Amar’e Stoudemire, who was sighted earlier this week begging for change in the Bronx. The iconic centre has also been suspected of hocking his own merchandise on eBay after a number of ‘authentic, signed Amar’e items’ were uploaded onto the online shopping website last week, including a rare set of protective goggles and a signed doctor’s certificate for his 2009 retina surgery.
It is also believed that Lakers guard Kobe Bryant is making some similarly uncharacteristic financial sacrifices. Reports suggest the future Hall of Famer has given up his expensive jewellery habit and has pledged to only drink house spirits when out on the town.
However, power forward and occasional journalist Chris Bosh told The Public Apology that he had deliberately steered clear of the lockout negotiations, adding that “I’m not in this for the money.”
“It’s actually freed up a lot of time for me to pursue other more cerebral activities such as reading, painting and cooking,” the Apple acolyte said, in between updating his Twitter status on his iPad 2.
“I only agreed to this [World Tour] because I was promised the opportunity to meet with Neil Perry, Bill Grainger and Matt Moran at Rockpool. Man, just thinking about that Goats cheese tortellini with king prawns, pine nuts and raisins gets me hard.”
By Dave Edwards