In recent years, NBA rookie hazing has taken a decided turn towards the silly, which is a good thing. There’s nothing creepier than grown men taking the whole hazing tradition to an unhealthy extreme. It’s even worse in high school sports sometimes. Despite the goofy way veterans make NBA rookies pay their dues, usually it involves a silly backpack, or tedious tasks like buying breakfast every morning before shootaround or carrying the bags of more experienced teammates.
But there’s something about the way Andrew Bogut was hazed by the Bucks when he came into the NBA as the No. 1 pick in the 2005 NBA Draft, that actually put us in a good mood, despite the dearth of hoops right now. In the same GQ Australia interview where he revealed how crazy Golden State’s post-championship partying really got, Bogut also explained how his teammates embarrassed the crap outta him during his rookie season. The mental image alone is good for a guffaw.
GQ: The NBA’s rookie hazing traditions are famed. What happened to you two when you joined the league?
Andrew Bogut: The blokes that get in trouble are the ones that try to be heroes about it. Once I had to dance in a nappy – a diaper – and I had to sing one song of my choice in front of the whole team.
GQ: A 7-foot tall center in a diaper? Oof. What song did you choose?
AB: I did the Australian national anthem. It was an easy one. I could pretty much make up words, they had no idea what I was saying.
If you contrast Bogut’s hazing with that of fellow Aussie, Matthew Dellavedova (who took part in the interview, as well), you can see Delly got off easy, too.
“Mine wasn’t too bad,” Delly said. “The main thing we had to do was get donuts for every shootaround. It was a little bit out of the way – you’d have to drive in the snow. Then, Jarrett Jack and Kyrie Irving took us to get suits for the home opening game. They picked out some, erm, vibrant colours. And got us top hats.”
All in all, Bogut’s punishment wasn’t bad, especially in comparison to some other hazing stories.