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NBA sends memo to teams reminding them that no form of bullying will be tolerated

Nov 9, 2013, 3:30 PM EDT

rookie backpacks nba

An ugly situation has surfaced with the NFL’s Miami Dolphins regarding teammates bullying one another, and the NBA wants to make sure that nothing similar happens in their team locker rooms.

It historically hasn’t been much of an issue at all, and rookie hazing in professional basketball has traditionally been limited to carrying bags of veterans, retrieving meals for them, and perhaps wearing backpacks during training camp more appropriate for pre-teen girls than for post-college aged young men.

The league wants to make sure that anything like this stays in the area of completely harmless, so it sent out a note to all 30 teams reminding them of what won’t be tolerated.

From Marc Stein of

The lengthy list of violations, sources said, includes: any physical abuse or threats of violence; verbal abuse focused on an individual’s race, nationality, color, gender, age, religion, sexuality, etc.; destruction, defacement or theft of a fellow player’s personal property; engaging in any activity that intimidates or threatens fellow players with ostracism or inflicts extreme mental stress, embarrassment, humiliation or shame; and forcing an individual to engage in any activity or perform any task that violates federal, state or local law or NBA rules and regulations.

Also prohibited, sources said, is requiring an individual to unreasonably pay for meals, travel, entertainment expenses, goods or services that are being solely enjoyed by others as well as imposing physical activities on a fellow player — such as exposure to weather, confinement in a restricted area, or consumption of food, liquid or substance — that leads to unreasonable risk for the individual or adversely affects their mental or physical health or safety. …

Added another team official from the West: “I’ve been around for a while and I’ve never really heard any crazy stories.”

The culture in the NBA is very different than that of the NFL, and there really doesn’t appear to be any issue here at all.

The league wants to make sure it stays that way, so the memo was probably a smart idea in light of recent events elsewhere.

[Image credit: @landryfields via]

  1. 1972wasalongtimeago - Nov 9, 2013 at 3:45 PM

    Mario Chalmers is smiling

    • phaden27 - Nov 9, 2013 at 9:17 PM

      Yeah but when his career is over it kills his chance of the ESPN special 30 for 30: Twelve Years A Whipping Boy.

  2. saint1997 - Nov 9, 2013 at 4:17 PM

    When they said ‘destruction of property’ I couldn’t help but think of Dion Waiters car getting filled with popcorn

  3. boobcok - Nov 9, 2013 at 4:33 PM

    I wonder if they gave Jordan a call when he punched Kerr during practice.

  4. jdillydawg - Nov 9, 2013 at 5:11 PM

    Is it me, or are we just completely feminizing sports all the way through? How has bullying become the front page news of sports these days and is it REALLY that big of a problem?

    I don’t know what to think of the Incognito/Martin thing, but I’m pretty sure both of them can consider their careers over. Tell me how going public helped anyone here?

    Nothing is about the game anymore, it’s all about the drama. For the NBA to send out a “preventative” message is just lame.

    We have essentially sucked competitiveness right out of sports, and as much as I hate to say this, I think it’s women that are driving the agenda. Call me a chauvinist or whatever, but how are men driving the anti-bully message, the wear pink in February message (which isn’t really even about breast cancer anymore, it’s about how much brighter your pink is than the other guys), and proliferation of female sports announcers. I mean, is it just me that thinks 99% of all the female sports announcers are really hot? And why am I chastised for admitting that, when you know that’s what the producers are thinking when they fill those roles.

    Sports ain’t pretty. Why do we keep having to doll it up?

    • 1972wasalongtimeago - Nov 9, 2013 at 5:57 PM

      You don’t think Verne Lundquist is hot?

      • mydoghasfleez - Nov 9, 2013 at 10:02 PM


      • jdillydawg - Nov 10, 2013 at 4:15 PM

        Which pretty much answers my question. Guys don’t really care as long as the announcers are good looking. Talk about anything, even if it’s not sports related.

        Next on the agenda, thought, I think we need to really examine that Navy Seals training. Those guys get hazed worse than anyone, get told to quit, are called names, and are made to endure inhuman conditions. How the military has gotten away with this for this long is absolutely unacceptable! We better clean that up pretty quick, I don’t want those guys tackling terrorism with hurt feelings.

        Good lord. I blamed women for the feminizing of sports in my previous post, but it turns out, I think it’s actually men driving the agenda after all. Most guys seem to like a kinder, gentler sportsworld where everyone gets a trophy and everyone’s a winner for just showing up, the announcers are hot and the topics are all drama. (Although, I have to admit, one more “We have a job to do and nothing else matters” comment may just compel me to shoot myself.)

        Our children are screwed…

    • pistolpete0903 - Nov 10, 2013 at 12:54 AM

      While I agree with you about hot female announcers getting hired just for their sex appeal, the hazing part in NFL goes a bit too far (especially in this case).
      You have to understand that it is a professional environment (although it is emotionally charged and all); and adults (anyone older than 18 should be treated as one and also expected to behave as one) are supposed to behave professionally.
      Hazing is fun if done in the right spirit (the picture above suggests that the rookies don’t mind it). Having said that, if the rookie is not comfortable, you just back off.
      Veterans, even if you were hazed as a rookie, don’t have a right to pick on others. Simple as that.

      • jdillydawg - Nov 11, 2013 at 11:14 PM

        The whole “adults should act like adults” argument is overrated. Nothing about being an adult says you have to act differently than you did when you were 10. or 15. Or 20.or 25. And so on.

        Also, we’re seeing the other side of the argument with Martin now. Incognito isn’t looking like such the d-bag after all.

        But hey, without the drama, without people putting their noses into where it really doesn’t belong, we would have never had the opportunity to really crush two careers now,would we?

        Martin and Incognito are both screwed. The announcers will still be hot. And hazing will go on. Those that can handle it will thrive. Those who can’t, will leave or take the Martincognito route, being drawn out in the media, and get interviewed by some really hot chicks. (Hey, maybe they’re on to something here…)

        Give ’em both a trophy for comin’ out, though. They certainly deserve some participation points!

    • 00maltliquor - Nov 10, 2013 at 11:17 AM

      I’m with you to a degree jdilly.

  5. eugenesaxe1 - Nov 9, 2013 at 6:27 PM

    Hello Kitty backpacks should be mandatory for every player, quite a few of them need some humbling.

  6. seanb20124 - Nov 9, 2013 at 8:21 PM

    Who determines what “unreasonable” is in terms of picking up the tab?

  7. jimeejohnson - Nov 10, 2013 at 10:24 AM

    Better layoff that pea brain hater, Cantun*a*s!

  8. kavika6 - Nov 10, 2013 at 10:50 AM

    Bullying isn’t nearly as ugly a situation in locker rooms as allowing female reporters to enter them.

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