Amid the pandemic, 300 of the world's top athletes -- NBA players -- are living and playing basketball in Orlando in what the news media has dubbed a "bubble." Playing on the hardwood is of course the ultimate goal, but the bubble only functions thanks to a robust ecosystem that supports the players and staff off the court.
Included in that? Barbers.
According to reporting by Ben Pickman of Sports Illustrated, the NBA originally had six barbers in the bubble, but due to high demand, they've added a seventh barber. Six barbers are male and one is female.
In addition to the seven barbers, there are also three hair braiders and three manicurists on-site. They, of course, had to quarantine and follow strict hygiene protocols to prevent the coronavirus from entering the bubble.
All these barbers, writes Pickman, went through a rigorous interview process. There was originally a list of 50 names. The selected barbers say it's been a fantastic opportunity to showcase their work a the highest level.
The barbers are paid a flat rate, according to Pickman, but the NBPA and NBA. However, they do accept tips. They work six days per week.
Marcos “Reggae” Smith, who journeyed to the bubble from New York City, called it “a once in a lifetime opportunity to do what I love at the highest level,” in an Instagram post.