4:54 PM AKDT, October 21, 2012
Being a rookie in the NBA is tough enough. You don't want to have to run around town to find a teammate a bathing glove, too.
Not a batting glove, mind you.
A bathing glove.
Glen "Big Baby" Davis, the 290-pound power forward who has a lot of acreage to clean, sent Magic rookie DeQuan Jones out to buy one.
"I went to CVS," Jones said. "They didn't have any gloves. I want to try Walgreens."
Veterans have been initiating rookies into the NBA forever, complete with amusing, amazing hazings.
Jeremy Lin was forced to walk around with a Barbie doll backpack when he was a rookie at Golden State. Kevin Willis made Royal Ivey go get him a carton of cigarettes he'd never smoke.
Jason Terry, in his first season with the Dallas Mavericks, was told to go get dozens of Krispy Kreme donuts on a road trip in Salt Lake City. The catch: There were no Krispy Kreme shops there at the time.
"Man, we're doing little errands," said Magic rookie forward Maurice Harkless, talking about life as a go-for. "I have to go get Jameer [Nelson] toiletries, lotions and soaps.
"I had to go to the mall for J.J. [Redick]. Stuff like that. I don't have a choice."
And sometimes, the vets just mess with 'em.
Nelson sent Kyle O'Quinn to a local Walmart to buy him a step-stool so he could see over his locker.
The Magic have an unusually high number of rookies (5) currently on the rebuilt roster: Jones, Harkless, O'Quinn, Andrew Nicholson and Chris Johnson.
"You come from college, you were a hot-shot, a big man on campus and you want to establish yourself in the league. But there's a way," said Davis said, recalling that when he was a Celtics rookie he had to go fetch Kendrick Perkins a Powerade drink --- at 4 a.m.
"It's a thing to humble the rookies — to make them understand that it's a privilege to play in this league. You have to learn that you need to respect the players who have paved the way for you. Players who've been here have made sacrifices, sacrificed their bodies, and rookies need to know how to be successful."
Davis has been impressed with the attitudes of his first-year teammates, making it easier for the vets to act as mentors.
"Our rookies have been good," he said.
O'Quinn, a second-round pick out of Norfolk State, admitted that he was surprised "at all the veterans willing to help the rookies. I mean, you're the new kid on the block. But they are ready to pass down what they know."
When O'Quinn came to the bench during a preseason game, Quentin Richardson was immediately in his ear, demonstrating a box-out maneuver. Q-Rich kept talking to O'Quinn even when he sat down, then patted him on the head.
But the next day, O'Quinn had to make sure veterans got their drinks at practice before the rookies did.
"A lot of it is getting guys' breakfast and just picking stuff up, too," he said. "Like towels."
O'Quinn said Davis made him go buy different soaps "just so he could find out what he likes."
Asked if he thought Davis really needed the items or was merely abusing the rookie ritual, O'Quinn laughed, "A little of both."