Professional athletes are used to being able to live their normal lives during the season, especially when their team is at home. On the road, they stay in a hotel but aren’t necessarily confined to just the hotel when they’re not practicing or playing games. That’s not the case for NBA players since the league restarted following the stoppage caused by COVID-19.
The NBA is finishing its season in a bubble at Walt Disney World in Orlando. The league is trying to make things as familiar and comfortable as possible for the players in the NBA bubble, including having barbers there — and that is thanks to Rajon Rondo’s brother.
Concierge service in the NBA bubble
Rajon Rondo’s older brother William is the president of a company called Global Concierge Services. William tells the Undefeated that when he found out the NBA was considering having its bubble in Orlando, he got in touch with one of his contacts at the union, Michele Roberts, the executive director of the players’ association.
He gave her a list of all the services he could provide the players, including:
- Twist services, including braids and dreads
His company was eventually chosen to provide barber services in the bubble.
Barbers in the bubble
William described the barber situation in the bubble. There are four barbershops, with six barbers in total. He says they got recommendations from players who have barbers that they frequent.
Williams likened it to “a draft for master barbers and groomers.” In the bubble, the barbers are available to players seven days a week. There is a phone number that players can call or text to schedule and appointment, and the barbers are willing to work around the players’ practice and game schedules.
Global Concierge Services wanted to make sure the players have the freedom to get their hair cut or styled whenever they want because getting a haircut helps you to look good. And, as William said, “when you look good you feel good, and when you feel good you play good.”
So it was important to the company to make some of the country’s best barbers and stylists available to the players throughout their time in the bubble, which can be three months or more for players on the teams that make it to the NBA Finals, which won’t take place until October in what has been an unusual season in the NBA.
Familiarity leads to relaxation
One of the goals of Global Concierge Services, the NBA, and the players’ association is to make sure the players stay relaxed and fresh while in the bubble. And that was William’s goal when developing the barbershops in the bubble, which includes a glass barbershop mentioned in the interview with the Undefeated.
William says that the shop is located in the middle of the campus, so it’s visible to all the players. The goal with the shop was to make it a replica of the shops the players go to when they’re back home.
The list of features William ran through that he hopes will make the players feel at home while in the barbershop include air conditioning and a TV. For NBA players, a barbershop is often a place where they can sit back and relax, talk about their lives and careers, and have a laugh or two with their buddies.
William and the NBA hope players will be able to do that when getting cuts or styles while in the bubble. With the unusual circumstance of the NBA bubble, anything that feels familiar to the players will help them relax and remain at the top of their game.