The anonymous NBA tip line has become the topic of the NBA bubble at Disney World this week, and Doc Rivers is ready to crack some jokes.
The tip line reportedly received multiple calls about players breaking COVID-19 safety protocol for mask wearing and social distancing after arriving in Orlando, Florida. The hotline is meant to keep everyone safe ahead of and during the season restart on July 30 while coronavirus cases climb in the surrounding Florida area.
That’s come with some criticism — it’s now called the “the snitch hotline” by some — and concerns about how teams will use it in pursuit of an NBA championship in the resumed season.
The Los Angeles Clippers coach is already poking fun at that thought, joking to reporters on Wednesday that he’s already used the hotline.
His first target was none other than in-town rival LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers.
Doc Rivers jokes about the hotline: "I turned in LeBron yesterday. I'm turning in Pop today. I'm trying to turn all these guys in. I think it's phenomenal. We're going to be the only team left when this is done."
— Shane Young (@YoungNBA) July 15, 2020
May as well put the hotline on speed dial after jokingly making life difficult for San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich, too.
Of course there’s a grain of truth in every joke, and Rivers got at the heart of the concern. Players reported to the hotline have so far only gotten warnings, per a report by The Athletic’s Shams Charania. But that will likely change going forward as the NBA takes every possible precaution to keep players, staff and personnel safe in the bubble environment.
At least two players — Bruno Caboclo and Richaun Holmes — have already had to restart the required quarantine period after breaking the rules. There is no margin for error because COVID-19 spreads so rapidly.
It’s unclear the process of investigating anonymous tips and the harsher penalties that will come down for breaking protocol. That has fans wondering if players and coaches might “snitch” to gain a competitive advantage. Facing the Lakers without James is massive.
We see you, Doc.
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