Pranks in the NBA world are not uncommon, but they are usually simple or done without cameras in the locker room. But back at the start of the 90s', Charles Barkley, Muggsy Bogues, and Rick Mahorn pulled off possibly the greatest prank in NBA history by tricking JR Reid into thinking he had been traded and bashed on by everyone.
"Just a bad, bad trade"
JR Reid maybe isn't too remembered nowadays in NBA waters, but the power forward was a promising prospect coming out of UNC, getting picked 5th in the 1989 Draft. His first few years were solid, but his career slowly went downwards after that, switching a lot of teams and even playing overseas for a few years before eventually retiring in 2003.
What many remember about Reid is that he got set up in one of the most creative pranks the NBA world has ever seen. With the help of JR's teammate Muggsy Bogues, the Sixers frontcourt of Charles and Mahorn decided to involve a news station in order of pulling off the trade prank on the young forward.
Muggsy invited Reid and his family to his home for dinner with no indication of what was about to go down. Bouges's apartment was filled with hidden cameras, and the show was about to start. The regular program on the TV was interrupted with breaking news of a trade that went down.
Naturally, Reid's focus shifted to the TV to see what happened. The anchor that was also in on the prank broke the news of JR Reid getting traded from the Hornets to the Sixers in exchange for Rick Mahorn. JR was in disbelief, as he couldn't believe the Hornets would so quickly get rid of their 5th pick.
But the best was yet to come, as the reactions from Mahorn himself, Barkley, and eventually Muggsy made Reid rethink his whole career. Firstly, Mahorn offered his opinion on the trade, basically saying how much of a downgrade Reid will be:
"I'm really upset. I feel the Sixers have really got a bad trade, and they get JR. He's a talented player, but he can't hold the line. He can't do the things that I do. I'm just really disgusted with the whole thing...I think Charlotte has the best in the trade because I'm going to Charlotte."
Then Charles came in with an Oscar-worthy display of depression and disappointment:
"Just can't believe it. It's terrible...Now they bringing this young kid in. I don't know. I think Charlotte got the better. They are getting an experienced veteran forward, and we're getting a little kid who's not ready yet—just a bad, bad trade."
As if the young Reid wasn't already shaken by the trade, getting bashed by the superstar of your new team and the guy you got traded for obviously hurt deep, judging by JR's look.
And to cap it off and reveal that's it all a prank, they had Muggsy's statement about how JR was always late to practice before revealing he's on Pro Basketball's Funniest Pranks. They would all burst out laughing, but it was apparent Reid breathed a sigh of relief.
The whole prank, from the news station to getting statements from players and setting up the cameras, made this one of the best pranks we have ever seen in the NBA. Hopefully, somebody gets inspired and pulls this off with today's players because it would be hilarious to see.