Pranks are a regular occurrence in every locker room. Form the rookie hazing to your run of the mill pranks. You spend a lot of time with a small group of guys, and keeping morale up and having fun is essential. Still, you have to be smart about it.
J.R. Smith was never known for having boundaries. If he feels like it, he’s doing that. While we will all remember him for the shot-clock blunder, there is more to his opus. In his early days, he managed to piss off Kenyon Martin. Martin is in the group of players you do not mess around with; the Oakley, Barnes, Z-Bo group of guys. J.R. learned it the hard way.
As an April’s fool prank, J.R. (with a ball boy) filled Martin’s entire car with popcorn. A brand new customized car. Martin wasn’t playing that day, and as he told the story, he was walking back to his car when he noticed it didn’t unlock when he pressed the button on the key. As he always locks his car, this raised some suspicion. As he got to the car, he saw it was filled with popcorn.
He left the door open and went straight back to the locker room. As he leaves his wallet and keys in his locker even when he is not playing, he narrowed down the suspects to the people that have access to the locker room. Then he started to ask around.
Chauncey Billups was the elder statesman on the team at the time and had a relationship with Kenyon. If you needed to calm Kenyon down, Chauncey was the person to call. As Chauncey told the story on Highly Questionable, not that day:
I’m a guy that can control K-Mart. He has a lot of respect for me; we have mutual respect, we’re very good friends. I kept him off a lot of people’s heads, to be honest with you. But that day in that locker room, I didn’t even want to get it the middle of it, man. He was a little bit too hot. That was an interesting day.
Chauncey Billups, via Highly Questionable
Kenyon persisted in getting access to the security cameras footage in the locker room to see who was in the locker room during the game. He quickly found out who the perpetrator was. “So, J.R. put the little ball boy to it, this little fuck— named Lequan, that was running behind him.“
So when Kenyon was asking for J.R.’s address, it was apparent to everyone it was serious. The entire organization got involved, including the top front office people. Gm Masai Ujiri and Josh Kroenke, son of the owner Stan Kroenke, called Kenyon to calm him down. They told him the team would cover all costs of repairing any damage to the car, just to prevent him from going over to J.R.’s place.
So I tell the ball boy, and I tell the team. “He’s not allowed to come back to the gym. If I come back to the gym, Imma slap him on sight.” And I told him (the ball boy) “If you see me around Denver, Colorado, you better leave. Because I’m gonna put my hands on you, you should’ve known better. “
The team paid for all the damages, things calmed down, and they are now on good terms. We don’t have information is the ball boy still living in Denver, though. Wherever you are, Lequan, stay safe.