What was it like being a rookie with the Pistons during the mid-’00s, sharing the locker room with Rasheed Wallace, Ben Wallace, Chauncey Billups, Rip Hamilton, and Tayshaun Prince? We asked Alex Acker about it, and judging by the story he shared, it sure wasn’t for everyone.
Alex wasn’t the protagonist of this one. The unlucky victim was an 18-year-old Amir Johnson — the last player to go to the NBA straight out of high school. Along with Jason Maxiell, the two were drafted by the Pistons in ’05, joining a team with championship aspirations after they lost the NBA Finals to San Antonio the year before.
None of the youngsters saw a lot of court time during their rookie campaigns, but the vets still made sure their first year in the NBA was memorable — especially for Amir. Here’s the story Alex shared during 1-ON-1 with Basketball Network.
Amir was talking a lot of crap in practice, and they were really going in on Jason Maxiell. Amir was like, ‘they not gonna do that to me, I wish I would do that to me.’Alex Acker, 1-ON-1 with Basketball Network
That sounds like the wrong thing to say to the Pistons’ veterans. And it was. What followed was a punishment. “We were all in a locker room, and I knew what was gonna happen because it was quiet,” said Acker.”He walked in like a high school kid would walk in all happy and excited just to be in the league.”
They really tackled his butt, tied him to a chair with glad wrap, and rolled him out in the middle of the court, and told everybody, ‘if you try to untangle him, this is gonna happen to you as well.’Alex Acker, 1-ON-1 with Basketball Network
None of the guys tried to untangle him. And good thing they didn’t, because they sure would’ve gone through the same thing. As far as Johnson goes, the vets still weren’t done with him.
They took him back, put him in the shower, ran cold water on him, he couldn’t move. It was just hilarious, man, it really was.Alex Acker, 1-ON-1 with Basketball Network
An incredible story by the former Pistons’ guard Alex Acker. He had a great rookie experience in Detroit — I’m not sure about Amir, though.