by Alex Poletti
Golden State Warriors player Jordan Bell was suspended for one game last week after the team discovered he charged a $15 candle to the hotel room of assistant head coach Mike Brown. The story seemed a little too innocent, so The Second String did some research and came across a startling discovery.
For the past year, Jordan Bell has been running an illegal underground candle trafficking ring where candles are transported and used by NBA players and coaches against their will, The Second String spotlight division reports.
“Under the nose of NBA and team officials, Bell has trafficked some 250 thousand candles, many of them undocumented, over the past 10 months to players and coaches on at least eight teams,” the official spotlight report says. “The seizure and sale of candles without their consent is a clear violation of NBA policy.”
“Candlegate” is believed to have its roots at the University of Oregon, but no definitive link has been made yet. The suspicion of Ducks players arises from the discovery of 34 underage candles in Oregon alumnus and Grizzlies shooting guard Tyler Dorsey’s home.
“I know how bad this looks, but I swear it isn’t like that at all,” Dorsey said when accosted by The Second String journalists. “I purchased these candles at Target for the current market price.”
What first aroused speculation from the Warriors was the enormous upcharge in the price of the candle. Rather than hide the shady dealings with clever accounting, Bell and Brown left the smoking gun out in the open.
“Certainly, we were on high alert after seeing the candle at such a high price,” Warriors owner Joe Lacob explains. “We might not have noticed otherwise.”
Trafficking and sports have a long and gruesome history. The Super Bowl has long been associated with sex trafficking and continues to be the single largest meeting ground for that kind of traffic in the United States. Now, it’s clear that the NFL isn’t alone in its ties to illegal trafficking, but the NBA is now tainted with a different commodity: candles.
“We condemn the actions of Jordan Bell and others associated with the candle scandal,” NBA commissioner Adam Silver says. “We are saddened to have the reputation of this fine, upstanding league sullied by these actions. Our hearts go out to the families and friends of those candles affected.”
Despite the damning evidence presented here by The Second String, the NBA has yet to announce an official league-wide investigation into the scandal.