The NBA could be lending Houston Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta a friendly hand in the upcoming months. The league revealed it will partner with renowned chef Shawn Loving as part of an initiative to provide different meals for their players and staff. Loving has been the team chef for USA Basketball at the Olympics and has worked for Disney in the past.
Jeff Zillgitt of USA TODAY Sports also included a list of restaurants that will open up for delivery, so that NBA players may enjoy better meals than the ones they've had packaged during the past two days.
As it turns out, all of these six restaurants providing delivery service are part of Fertitta's Landry Inc. empire:
I’m sure it’s a complete coincidence that all of these restaurants are owned by Tilman Fertitta’s Landry’s Inc https://t.co/Rt3TuNWtIt
— Chillin in my Bacta (@DarthAmin) July 9, 2020
Fertitta furloughed a large part of his employees in the restaurant business as soon as the pandemic started taking its toll on the industry.
The Rockets owner pleaded for a soft-opening of the state of Texas, just enough to let his businesses operate. He also asked for major loans in a recent roundtable conversation that included President Donald Trump.
It's not uncommon for the league to collaborate with its owners and partner with affiliated businesses — after all the Disney patch is part of the Orlando Magic uniforms and Disney owns one of its main broadcast networks in ESPN.
Yet to give Fertitta all this help says a lot about the dire times of the restaurant industry and how much the Rockets owner needs the capital to bring his empire back to where it was.