Rookie duties are one of the traditions that transcend any single sport. Whether it’s picking up food for the vets, wearing ridiculous outfits to games or carrying luggage onto and off of bus rides, rookies are tasked with the mundane things in every sport.
Last season, Max Christie was the lone first-year player on the Lakers' main roster, so he bore all the rookie duties. That included being responsible for the music on the plane, which really just feels like setting him up for failure.
In his all-encompassing interview with our own Cooper Halpern, Christie shared a fun story about those rookie duties and when things went wrong for him.
“One of them was they asked me to play some music on the plane,” Christie said. “This was before the trade deadline, so it’s Pat Bev, LeBron, AD, and Dennis, so we’re all sitting at the table. I have to bring the speaker as one of the duties and so they ask me to play some music. Now usually I play music that’s sort of my time, sort of like Gunna, 21 Savage, and stuff like that.
“So, they wanted some old school. So, I played ‘In Da Club’ by 50 Cent, that was my go-to. And for them, that’s like – they wanted their old school – that’s like their regular, you know what I’m saying? That was a funny story, they all started laughing and started cracking jokes at me. That’s probably my most memorable one for sure.”
If reading that sentence made you feel old, then join the club, and not the one 50 Cent was in. It was today that I realized 50 Cent was even considered old school and this makes my bones immediately start aching. Honestly, I’m in favor of the Lakers giving him a hard time in this scenario.
Unfortunately for Christie, despite the Lakers having a host of other first-year players this season, his rookie duties haven’t entirely ended this season either as he’s doing some cover-up for the current newbies on the roster.
“The biggest thing this year is I still have to cover for the rookies a lot because they’re still getting used to it,” Christie said. “I technically don’t have to do any rookie duties anymore now that I’ve got some experience, but I still bring – like cards is a big one. The guys always want cards on the planes. This trip, I think this is an eight- or nine-day trip. I think we go Orlando, Miami, Houston, Phoenix. I brought a lot of extra cards just in case, and just so happens to be that one of our rookies already ran out, so I got all the extras for them.
“There hasn’t really been anything crazy other than the fact that I’ve sort of had to cover for them a couple of times, but it’s all good, I enjoy helping them out, right? That’s what I’m here for.”
While he’s covering for his teammates off the court, he’s going to be asked to cover for them on-court right now as well. With the Lakers battling a host of injuries right now, Christie is getting a chance early on in the year.
He’s gotten his first rotation minutes of the season in the team’s last two contests, though he’s struggled so far by shooting 1-7 from the 3-point line and 4-14 overall. The opportunities aren’t going to go away in the short term, though, with Jalen Hood-Schifino and Gabe Vincent still out.
Clearly, he excels in being prepared off the court. And now the preparation will show on the court in the coming games as well.
You can follow Jacob on Twitter at @JacobRude.