Rookie Diary, Volume 5: Myles Turner


VIDEO: Myles Turner soars in to swat Enes Kanter

Myles Turner of the Pacers and Kristaps Porzingis of the Knicks will alternate on a weekly diary for NBA.com covering life as a rookie, from challenges and success on the court to adjusting to their new world off. This week: Turner discusses handling rookie hazing and how it doesn’t end even as he turns into one of the top players on the team.

Nothing really much has changed. Sometimes teammates joke with me a little, that I’m not a rookie any more, I’m too big-time for them now. Stuff like that. But nothing’s really changed. I’ve still got my rookie duties. Everybody still expects me to do what I do. Nothing has changed because the minutes have changed.

The guys have been consistent. I still have to get all the Gatorade and drinks for the bus. I still have to get the breadsticks. Those are the biggest responsibilities. Before every road trip I have to go to a place and get five or six boxes of breadsticks for the flight.

Another time, when we went to Toronto, I had to fill out everybody’s customs forms. Every single one for the team. That took about 25 or 30 minutes. And the rookies have to wait last in line to go through customs. I hate that.

Monta Ellis is probably the hardest on me among the veterans as far as the rookie treatment. He asks me to do a lot of stuff out of random when we’re on the road. It can be anything. It can be going out if he wants chicken wings. Or maybe he wants me to go to the corner store to get him Gatorade or something. Little stuff like that. He just does it to mess with me sometimes.

But I would never consider saying no to anything they expect me to do. It’s just something everybody has to go through. Everybody has to go through a little bit of rookie tormenting and what not. It’s a rite of passage.

It just depends on how you look at it. It can be grueling if you’re saying, “Aw, man. Here we go again. I have to do this.” Or you can just take it with a grain of salt and say you have to do it because it’s basically your responsibility.

But it definitely helps having another rookie, Joe Young, for some of this. It makes it a lot easier for sure. There was one week when he hasn’t been here, when he was in the D-League, so he’s been with us pretty much all year.

I figured all this would come up a lot more with my family and friends asking me about it, but it hasn’t really, surprisingly. They just ask me what it’s like guarding LeBron or Carmelo and stuff like that.

I know I’ll have my chance later in my career to be on the other side. I’ll probably go easy on the rookies my next couple of years. Down the road, I’ll probably ramp it up because of what I had to go through as a rookie. I don’t have any specific ideas yet. Not yet. I’m sure I’ll come up with some.

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