On a recent episode of NBA Rooks, New Orleans Pelicans Hornets rookie guard Austin Rivers goes grocery shopping. Apparently, this isn't a regular quest that Rivers goes on in his life. Early in the video, he lets us know that he's only been "like one time" in his life, so you know he's about to show his inexperience.
I do like that Rivers recognizes his inability to parallel park, so he's going to make sure he finds a good spot. And he does get his car between the parking-spot lines, which he seemed very excited about. When you're a young player in this league, you've got to learn how to do the little things, which he's clearly doing.
However, once we see him get inside the store, things really fall apart.
The first thing that he grabs for his cart is Ben & Jerry's ice cream cartons, which couldn't be more of a rookie mistake. You never go for ice cream as your first item. You're just asking for it to get melted on your journey throughout the store. And if you're unfamiliar with grocery shopping or the layout of a particular store, you're probably going to end up spending even more time in the store. Therefore, the ice cream is just sitting at room temperature.
Unless you like ice cream soup, this is a terrible thing.
It takes rookies/young players a long time to figure out they need to take care of their bodies with a proper diet. Rivers immediately grabs ice cream, Reese's Puffs and Frosted Flakes. Those sugar binges will help you find the extra energy for Call of Duty sessions but not for playing 30 minutes a night in the NBA.
He does make up for it by getting some good deli meat. He went to the deli in the store and didn't buy the pre-packaged stuff, which is not something a lot of young people do. That shows maturity and some foresight. It wouldn't shock me if he raises his dietary game immensely from his rookie season to the next.
But then he shows lack of awareness for his surroundings. He asks for directions to the bread aisle, even though there are signs above each aisle with products that reside in said aisles. How can you properly run a pick-and-roll in the NBA if you can't even find proper signage in a grocery store?
He shows improved shot selection with what he's buying, though: passing up on Zebra Cakes because he knows he has enough sweets and sugars. He does learn a valuable lesson and recognizes it without coaching when he realizes he didn't need to bring the cart to his car. He could have left it in the store and carried the grocery bags, saving himself a trip back. He probably doesn't even know that there are cart drop-offs in the parking lot.