Mark J. Rebilas-US PRESSWIRE - Presswire
The laughs come early in camp as Jermaine O'Neal bestowed his wisdom and experience on rookies Kendall Marshall, Luke Zeller, and even Markieff Morris in a way, well, only a teammate could love.
Having a fatherly figure when entering the wide open ocean that is the NBA is almost as important as having the game to make it into this world. In most cases that fatherly figure is the coach, so for all intents and purposes Jermaine O'Neal has carved out the role of Uncle Jermaine for the Suns.
Picking up breakfast and singing fight songs is usually customary in the hazing of the newbies, but at training camp Uncle Jermaine presented the incoming rookies as well as Markieff Morris -- still a rookie technically -- with a valuable gift.
He didn't want to see his guys forget anything back at the hotel in San Diego, so in the form of Hello Kitty and Justin Bieber back-packs he made sure the new guys had something to carry there gear in, and so they can do this in style. Kendall Marshall enjoyed it so much he sent out a Tweet showcasing his new shoulder strap accessory. Watch out Kevin Durant -- there is a new back-pack bandit, more chic, and ready for the podium.
New bookbag for the year. Preciate it vets, this joint hot. http://instagr.am/p/QTlG2ZRsQl/
Luke Zeller was also presented a bag from Uncle Jermaine.
This type of fraternizing and general comradely is what camp is all about. Getting the team more comfortable with one another in order to build that all important chemistry. I know Uncle Jermaine is getting up there in the years as a 16 year veteran, but is he losing touch to what is "cool" and not cool among his peers? With the way things work nowadays we may start seeing players all around the league with these types of bags making Marshall, Morris, and Zeller trend setters!
Camp is far from over, who knows what the other veterans have in store for the rookies this week.