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How hotels solve the challenge of NBA players’ size

NBA players are no ordinary guests and hotels place different protocols on how to serve them better.
Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo

Giannis Antetokounmpo

Hotels need to be extra creative to accommodate NBA players’ height and heft. When a team books their stay, hotel management must ensure the players have a great experience. Here's how they solve the problem of making that happen for seven footers.

Solving the challenges of having NBA players as guests

Adult male Americans have an average height of 5’9”.  The average NBA point guard is 6’3”, and then the average size increases with each position. That means it’s expected to have several 7-footers in the traveling party. Adjustments must be made to accommodate them and give them the best possible experience.

The shower room needs to have a curved shower rod. Privacy and comfort are of utmost priority for NBA players. Hotels must ensure they conduct their business in private without risking any paparazzi. The gyms must also be tightly guarded. Players may spend several days in hotels, especially on road games or back-to-backs, so they need to keep their bodies in top shape.

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There are also greeting protocols that need to be observed. If the players arrive late at night, there should be no standard chit-chat about how their day went for bellhops. The rooms should be left with lights on and the shades drawn down. A special menu will also be featured instead of a regular one, and players should be able to order anything 24 hours a day.

For instance, the beds in hotel Monaco in Portland are 12 inches longer than standard. The showerheads are also eight inches taller than the standard six feet.

It’s standard to cater to every request or whims of players no matter the time of day. They are given VIP treatment, and management must do everything they can not to cause any tension or problem that could affect the players’ performance during the game.

Why hotel services are important

Hotels serve as the players’ home away from home. However, no matter how management ensures everything is set, there were still some incidents that we could call isolated ones. The Skirvin Hotel in Oklahoma has enough haunted stories for a true crime podcast. Ron Artest, Kyrie Irving, and Eddy Curry all have interesting anecdotes to share.

Remember the Michael Jordan NBA finals story? MJ ordered a pizza to be delivered to his hotel room and allegedly got sick due to food poisoning. Some fans thought the Utah Jazz were responsible in an attempt to stop or limit Jordan’s production. But the pizza maker revealed he didn’t think that it was Mike who ordered the pizza. MJ may or may not have been intentionally poisoned, but that case triggered a call for tighter security, especially for superstar players.

Hotels rely on reputation and good reviews to get customers and clients. If management wants to be booked by NBA teams constantly, they must be able to provide the necessary adjustments to keep the players happy, secure, and satisfied. After all, every little effort goes a long way in the hospitality industry. 

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