Kawhi Leonard kept getting woken up by Masai Ujiri at 5 a.m. at Disney bubble
The Clippers and Raptors were at the Gran Destino hotel, where all the top-seeded NBA teams were living. Ujiri, who woke up at 5 a.m. every day to get on his Peloton, was staying in the room directly above Leonard.
As a result, Leonard—one of the best players in the NBA—had to text Ujiri a few times to tell him to stop waking him up so early, via Taylor Rooks in GQ.
For example, every day at 5 a.m., inside room 950 in the Gran Destino (where all the top-seeded teams stayed), Masai Ujiri would wake up, read his book, hop on the Peloton, and work out before heading down for breakfast. He thought nothing of his daily ritual until one morning, several weeks into the bubble, when he got a text from another former player of his: “Morning boss, you good up there?”
The text was from Kawhi Leonard—Finals MVP with the Raptors, now a star on the Clippers—who was staying in room 850, directly below his old boss. Ujiri had been waking Kawhi up with his noisy workouts for weeks, but Kawhi was reluctant to say anything.
Ujiri told Kawhi that he would stop for the time being and joked that he would continue again when the Raptors met the Clippers in the Finals, messing with Kawhi’s sleep. Kawhi responded with the kind of trash talk that’s best read aloud in Kawhi’s dry monotone: “Haha, you know the saying ‘Don’t poke the bear’? I’m gonna call the NBA on you…get you out the bubble.”
This is incredible reporting by Rooks, who was one of the few NBA reporters who spent months at Disney World covering the historic restart.
The Raptors and Clippers ended up not meeting in the 2020 NBA Finals. Ujiri’s Raptors lost to the Boston Celtics in the second round of the playoffs in seven games, while Leonard’s Clippers fell to the Denver Nuggets in the second round in seven games as well.
The NBA bubble was a success, though, as no players tested positive for COVID-19.