Shabazz Muhammad says Wolves have banned rookie backpack hazing
Timberwolves rookie says team told players not to enforce traditional rookie hazing ritual.
As the firestorm surrounding Richie Incognito and the Miami Dolphins hazing scandal in the NFL continues, other leagues are taking measures to protect themselves. By and large the NBA has a gentler, more whimsical approach to rookie hazing which involves them carrying bags and wearing Hello, Kitty or other childish-themed backpacks. But Minnesota Timberwolves rookie Shabazz Muhammad told the LA Times that's been banned now as well.
Timberwolves rookie Shabazz Muhammad said team President Chris Wright and GM Milt Newton informed players they no longer wanted rookies wearing child-themed backpacks. Muhammad had been issued a Jonas Brothers backpack to wear on trips.
"They actually said they don't want us carrying them, but I understand with the stuff going on with the football thing," said Muhammad, who entered the draft after one season at UCLA. "They want to be separate from that. . . . Now I think rookie hazing won't exist anymore."
Smart move by the Wolves, or league, or whoever suggested this. The league is traditionally easier than most, there's a sense of obligation to the younger players that isn't present in the hyper-macho insanity of the NFL. As Cavaliers guard Jarrett Jack told USA Today Monday:
Of course, that could just be appearanes. Either way, the NBA is getting out in front of any scrutiny that could come their way as fallout from the Incognito-Martin situation continues.
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