The Whiteboard: Fact-checking wild rumors you heard about the NBA bubble

Stephen Curry, Golden State Warriors, (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Stephen Curry, Golden State Warriors, (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /

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The NBA bubble is in full swing but until actual basketball games start being played, the coverage is going to be all human-interest. The stories about food, fishing and shenanigans have been a welcome light-hearted reprieve but with such a narrow media pool on-site and so many players active on social media, rumors have swirled. It can be tough to sort fact from fiction, but we’re here to help. Here’s the skinny on some of the wildest stories you (probably haven’t) heard so far.

RUMOR: Stephen Curry didn’t want to be left out of the NBA bubble so he drove to South Padre Island and swam across the Gulf of Mexico, figuring arriving by sea was the only way to breach the bubble. 

FALSE. The widely circulated photo of Curry emerging from the water while what appears to be a support boat looks on is actually from Lake Tahoe. He jumped in the lake after his golf tournament this weekend. Also, the NBA bubble is in Orlando which is like 90 miles inland.

RUMOR: Tacko Fall has actually grown seven inches since the NBA season was suspended, making him the first 8-footer in NBA history.

FALSE. Check out this video of Fall and Enes Kanter playing beach volleyball inside the bubble. Even in the uneven sand, you can see from there is no way the height difference between the two players is a full 12 inches.

RUMOR: Paul George caught a bass that weighed more than Lou Williams.

FALSE. This one has been circulating on bass-fishing sub-Reddits and it’s hard to definitively verify without photo documentation. George’s reputation as the NBA’s premier sports fisherman is well-established but still, this one is hard to swallow. Williams is listed at 175 pounds. According to Field and Stream, the 85-year-old record for the largest bass ever caught is just 22 pounds, 4 ounces. We’ll call this a classic case of Angler’s Exaggeration.

RUMOR: Joe Ingles has been impressing his teammates with a series of eye-popping dunks in practice.

FALSE. Ha, ha, ha, NOPE.

RUMOR: Jimmy Butler ripped an enormous palm tree out of the ground, fashioned a crude stand for it and has been karate chopping a deep groove into it like Sato in Karate Kid 2.

FALSE. We de-bunked this one last week but “anonymous sources” keep recirculating it among media members. I wonder who those sources could be…

RUMOR: Gregg Popovich has shaken his pinot noir habit and has joined club “Rosé All Day” to deal with the heat and humidity.

UNKNOWN: At the time of this writing, we were not able to confirm or deny this rumor. Popovich has a well-established preference for full-bodied reds but drinking a pinot by the outdoor pool would be like trying to cool off with a warm glass of maple syrup. We’re still working on finding the answer to this one but, for now, we’ll leave it as unknown.

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