RIO DE JANEIRO – TMZ reported Friday that a group of Team USA men’s basketball players “accidentally” went to a famed brothel here.
Apparently, the group, which TMZ said included DeMarcus Cousins, DeMar DeRozan and DeAndre Jordan, thought they were just going to a regular spa and merely had a drink (the place plays music, welcomes only male customers and has a full bar). They then – and only then – figured out they probably shouldn’t be there.
“They realized it wasn’t the right place for them and immediately left,” a source told TMZ.
Sure, sure, sounds totally plausible. Who the heck was the “source” peddling that story? Draymond Green?
Now, this story is begging for a full breakdown – and we’ll be pleased to offer it.
Before that, though, let it be said we personally couldn’t care less and we contain no outrage that the guys decided to have a drink – or pretty much do anything else – inside a noted Brazilian brothel. Whatever.
Personally, as both an internet sports columnist in need of easy columns to write and a fan of the NBA in part because of this exact kind of recurring comical absurdity, this is exactly what I want out of my Olympic basketball team. That crew was getting boring when the suburban dad known as LeBron James was in charge and they’d pass the time between blowout victories playing poker and watching “Pitch Perfect.”
This is the good stuff. It’s far more entertaining than watching them beat China by 40 or 50 points on Saturday.
However, USA Basketball under Jerry Colangelo and Mike Krzyzewski has spent considerable effort trying to rehab the image of NBA players competing in the Olympics. There remains a portion of America that foolishly wants us to “go back to sending the college kids.” This, despite the fact that said college kids would get wiped out, let alone college kids who are just as likely as anyone else to wind up in this kind of establishment.
So image-conscious USA Basketball officials probably spent Friday night sitting in a darkened room, weeping as they took pulls out of a shared bottle of Jack Daniels. This “Dream Team” already had the headlines of Green posting a picture of his, well, you know what, onto social media. Now this.
USA Basketball does all it can to avoid such things. For instance, the players aren’t housed in the Olympic Village, which wouldn’t work for understandable security and comfort reasons. I believe the Portuguese word for Olympic dorms is “Dellavedova.”
Instead, USA Basketball rented “The Silver Cloud,” a 514-foot, 196-suite luxury cruise ship to serve as a home away from home. It’s docked in the waters off Rio, nowhere near the other regular athletes. It has pools, gyms, hot tubs, beds built for 7-footers, bars, a cigar lounge, plenty of places to play cards and hang out.
It even has … a spa. Oops.
USA Basketball made this so the guys would never have to leave the boat – or have any reason to want to leave the boat – except to practice and play.
And yet … they left the boat.
And wound up at the Termas Monte Carlo. Now, how anyone thought the Termas Monte Carlo was just a spa – a spa better than either the one on the luxury cruise ship, or a spa with people capable of giving honest, physical treatment better than the highly qualified USA Basketball training staff – remains an unanswered question.
From the outside, the first floor of the Termas Monte Carlo presents itself as an anonymous, windowless, half-stucco dump. You’d be hesitant to go in there and have them fix the muffler on your car, let alone provide deep tissue work on a world-class athlete.
The place is famous/infamous in Rio, as a simple internet search would reveal. It has a somewhat racy website. It’s been written about, reviewed and the subject of various law enforcement busts through the years.
One website that apparently serves to offer detailed reviews of such establishments notes, “the staff here tends to turnover fast, hence if you don’t like the selection one day, give it a few days and you might see some new faces in the line.” I guess that could sound like a spa … if you’re the most naïve person in South America.
It’s located nowhere near where the team boat is docked; with traffic it might be an hour away. You don’t just stumble upon it.
So this is the place they thought was just a regular spa – and a better spa choice than the one on their own luxury cruise ship?
And then when the players got there and noticed it looked pretty much like a den of iniquity right out of a Hollywood movie set … they went in?
Then when they noticed this spa had a full bar (what kind of spa has a full bar?), they grew so concerned that maybe it wasn’t legitimate after all … they ordered a round of drinks and hung out for a stretch?
But then they definitely left after just one drink. Or maybe it was two drinks. That was it. Sure. Definitely.
Look, we’re going to take their word and the word of that TMZ source for it. No one wants to call Olympians liars. Go America! U-S-A! U-S-A! It was all just an accident.
But guys, can you just visit the spa on the damn boat the next time? What happens in Rio does not stay in Rio – it appears on TMZ. One more story like this and you’re going to finally turn Coach K’s hair gray.
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