It's widely known that professional athletes love to play pranks on each other. In baseball, one of your teammates will set your foot on fire and call it a "hot foot." In football, rookies are often duct taped to goalposts then left to starve in the hot sun. In hockey, it's a rite of passage to have your jugular slashed by a rusty skate in a little joke called "icing." It's all in the game, and it's super fun because most of the time, no one dies.
Basketball is a little different. Since there isn't a ton of extra equipment, pranks generally involve making rookies carry bags or wear pink. But one man has changed all that. One man has the know-how, and the elbow grease, to invent classic pranks. That man is Zach Randolph.
seems like a chill bro
Here are a few of the now legendary pranks that Zach Randolph has pulled in his NBA career:
The Post Up
During his second season with the Blazers convinced his teammate, Chris Dudley, that he needed a defender to work against in the post. Randolph then posted up Dudley, spun and threw in a left-handed hook shot. The next time, rather than spinning and shooting, he slapped Dudley in the face as hard as he could. Hilarious!
The Ball Handling Drill
After being traded to the New York Knicks, Randolph arrived early to practice and found David Lee working on his jump shot. Randolph offered to show Lee some perimeter moves, which Lee gladly accepted. Randolph dribbled between his legs twice, stood up, slapped Lee in the face, kicked him in the genitals, then threw the ball off his back, collected it and laid it in while yelling "AND 1!!" Gotcha!
This is one of Randolph's favorite pranks, and he has used it throughout his career. Basically, he just slaps whoever is closest to him in the face, without warning. Pretty effective!
The Upper Decker
Many thought that Randolph's pranking days had passed following his trade to the Clippers. DeAndre Jordan found out that wasn't so. His first day reporting to the Clippers, Randolph brought a duffel bag full of semi-poisonous snakes, which he used to fill the top shelf of Jordan's locker. When Jordan opened the locker and the snakes started hissing, he ran frightened. When he asked who put the snakes there, Randolph slapped him in the face and said, "Nice snakes." Burned!
Upon arriving to Grizzlies training camp this summer, Randolph brought with him a heavily sedated brown bear. As coach Lionel Hollins gave his opening remarks, Randolph stabbed the bear, skinned it, and slapped it in the face for good measure. Symbolic!