Kevin Willis enjoyed himself some rookie hazing back in the day

by Micah Hart

No eye contact, rook.

Thunder forward and friend of the Hang Time Podcast Nick Collison is blogging for GQ this season, and in his latest column he tackles one of my favorite subjects here on All Ball — the art of rookie hazing.

Most of the time it’s pretty tame stuff, like competing in dance contests or wearing goofy outfits, and Collison says it often depends on what kinds of stuff veterans went through during their own rookie seasons. Not everyone gets it easy though, as Collison relates in this story about teammate Royal Ivey‘s rookie season with the Hawks:

On road trips, Kevin Willis would call Royal’s room at 2 A.M. and say “Rook, I need you to go get me a carton of cigarettes.” Now, Kevin Willis didn’t smoke, but Royal still would have to get out of bed and find a convenience store to get him his cigarettes, then knock on his door and deliver them. All that Royal would get for his troubles was a “Thanks Rook,” as he watched the grinning veteran throw the cigarettes in the trash.

Man that is cold — and also hilarious. Take it from someone who was in a fraternity, the kinds of physical punishment (branding and paddling and whatnot) you think of when hazing comes to mind are dangerous and meanspirited, whereas mind games like this have way better payoffs and get you in much less trouble.

The Exquisite Art of Rookie Hazing [GQ]

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One Comment

  1. armin halvadzic says:

    I wondering what happens if the rookie doesn’t want to do any od that stuff ? I mean what can they really do if rook says ”NO, I won’t do it ”…. knowing myself.I would be one of those guys. That doesn’t help me at all and if I was a veteran I wouldn’t make rookies do anything. I would say no to anything and if they would make jokes I would be quiet and if it was funny I would laugh.