NBA on TNT discussed their experiences with rookie hazing during halftime of today’s Heat-Pacers first round playoff game. Charles Barkley and Shaquille O’Neal’s experiences as first-year players were very, very different.
Barkley, the No. 5 pick in the 1984 NBA Draft by the Philadelphia 76ers, said he was hazed by several of his team’s veteran players.
The 11-time NBA All-Star said he was hazed by Julius Erving, Mo Cheeks, Andrew Toney and Moses Malone. He said he had to take warm milk to a player at 11 p.m. at night. He also had to take Dr. J a newspaper early in the morning.
O’Neal then revealed how he did not get hazed as a rookie.
“First day I got there, Scottie Skiles was like, ‘get my bag, rook,'” O’Neal said. “I was like, ‘I don’t do that, I’m the franchise player.’ And I never got hazed.”
“Bro, this my team, bro.”
Shaq was asked to carry luggage for rookie hazing.
His response: “I don’t do that. I’m the franchise player.” 😭
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) August 22, 2020
Barkley and Kenny Smith added that rookie “hazing” can be beneficial, as it helps develop relationships between the teammates.
“That’s why no one likes you,” Barkley joked to O’Neal.
“I ain’t doing none of that,” O’Neal added.
The no-hazing certainly worked out for O’Neal, as he won four NBA championships over the course of his career and went down as one of the greatest big men ever.