If you love drinking coffee, chances are you can relate to this story’s premise (if not its many privileged and epidemiolgically questionable details).
There you are, stuck in a place—at the office perhaps, or camping, or maybe even Nana’s house for the holidays—with very little in the way of decent-to-tasty coffee options. Not even 7/11 or the RTD aisle at the grocery store are an option in this scenario, so you bring your own coffee setup. Sure, it takes a little extra packing and prep work but the end result, that glorious first cup in the morning makes it all worth it.
Now, imagine you are very tall with a so-so professional basketball career that never quite stepped out from under your father’s shadow, and you are about to spend the foreseeable future in a bubble that just so happens to be the current global epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic. In this world, you are Sacramento Kings head coach Luke Walton, and you just packed seven pounds of coffee in your travel bag to take to Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida for the restart of the NBA season.
As reported by NBC Sports, Walton—the former Los Angeles Laker and son Bill Walton, a first ballot hall of fame center, broadcaster, and notorious Deadhead (who definitey has some experiencing packing green for a road trip if you know what I mean)—is preparing for what can only be considered an abysmal coffee landscape with an entire carry-on bag full of gear. Along with seven pounds of whole bean coffee, Walton the younger brought a grinder as well as a French press for his time in The Bubble. “I knew we were going to be quarantined, so I couldn’t trust whatever was going to be in my room,” he quipped.
Unfortunately, as far as the coffee journalism goes, NBC Sports’ reporting leaves many necessary questions unanswered. What type of grinder was it? Does Walton have the wherewithal to pack a not-at-all-travel-friendly Baratza Sette? Or did he perhaps drop some serious coin on a high quality hand grinder like the Comandante? And who roasted those seven pounds of coffee? It is all from one roaster or is Walton’s carry-on more of a multi-roaster situation? Seven pounds is a weird increment for coffee bag purposes, some 112 ounces in total. Maybe he packed 10 10-ounce bags and one 12-ounce bag? Or five 10-ounce bags and six 12-ounce? A five-pounder and a two-pounder?
Walton spent well over a decade in Los Angeles as a player or coach as well as time in the Bay Area and Sacramento—all of whom have exciting coffee scenes—so it is quite likely, given his willingness to pack an entire coffee bar, that his taste in coffee falls well within the specialty realm. So Luke, if you’re reading this, first off hello, thank you for reading Sprudge, and also I’m sorry about that “so-so professional career” remark earlier. Second, please let us know what coffee you are drinking and what the deal is with the seven pounds.
Admittedly, this story is a complicated one. On one hand, America is in the middle of a pandemic that should have us all sheltering in place to help flatten the curve as opposed to shipping off athletes to the home of the current largest coronavirus outbreak. And then on the other hand, I’m so starved for sports that I’ll voraciously consume any and all televised professionals outings. I’d even watch Luke Walton play.
There is no telling if the whole Disney World NBA COVID scheme is even going to actually happen, or if they’ll play like three games and then call the whole thing off, or what. Like everything in life right now it gives me a lot of anxiety and I hate it. But one thing is clear: If the NBA pseudo-season goes through in the Bubble (unlikely), and if the Kings somehow do well within said Bubble (even less likely), know that it is because of coffee.
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