The world of professional athletics is a lot less glamorous when you aren't the professional athlete. A recent article from HoopsWorld looked into one such thankless sports job, the NBA ball boy, and discovered that it's not just about handling basketballs, but also ridiculous player food requests.
“Food is primarily the big thing in the locker room,” explained Jack. “Getting them whatever we have on hand food wise… Chicken tenders. That's the big thing.”
Ball Boys get all manner of food requests from the normal batch of chicken fingers and fries to salads and fruit. Not all requests are normal, and not all requests are reasonable.
“Strangest request? I went to the Cheesecake Factory a couple weeks ago,” revealed Jack. “I thought it was going to be for one order for a player and it was for the whole team. [The Player] asked if I'd take his order for the Cheesecake Factory, in my head I'm trying to figure it out if I can get to the Cheesecake Factory and back before the game is over, so I am thinking I can do it. But as I am taking his one order he tells me to ask the whole team for their order, so I had to let the whole team order and place this big $500 order. I got it done, but it made for a stressful evening.”
There is a long detailed relationship between NBA players and the Cheesecake Factory, which was discussed (among other things) during Squid Ink's September interview with Lakers trainer Gary Vitti. Not discussed? That ball boys also have to clean up the showers after the players are gone for the night. Well at least the tips are good…