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Jones Jr. Needs To Keep His Mouth Shut

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Zach Lowe drags Airplane Mode for not keeping his mouthguard in his mouth.

NBA: Toronto Raptors at Portland Trail Blazers Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

Lots of things have changed during the coronavirus pandemic, such as the Portland Trail Blazers playing in an empty Moda Center. But one thing seemingly hasn’t, and it rubbed Zach Lowe of ESPN.com the wrong way: Derrick Jones Jr. won’t keep his mouthguard where it belongs.

I am not an epidemiologist. This is not about safety or science. It’s also not really about Derrick Jones Jr., who has carved out a nice career. Players dangling their mouthpieces used to be charming. They have foibles, just like us! LeBron bites his nails! Stephen Curry gnawing on his mouthpiece was almost his version of Michael Jordan sticking out his tongue — a tic of concentration. (He still does it today.)

I regret to inform you that visible mouthpieces are thing No. 22,473 the pandemic ruined.

He apparently watched a clip where Jones Jr. is chewing on his mouthpiece repeatedly.

Before March 2020, I might not have noticed. Now, I find it repulsive. I could not stop looking at it. I couldn’t focus on anything else. I rewound the clip several times.It’s possible I have serious problems.

Gross.