While professional basketball player is typically considered to be a lucrative profession, those who toil at levels below the NBA sometimes have to contend with minor paychecks less-than-ideal amenities and accommodations. For instance, players in the NBDL often have to take long bus trips to and from games, stay in cheap motels, and subsist on relatively light paychecks. It's a glamorous profession in theory, but not always in practice.
Getting a call-up from the D-League to the NBA, then, can mean a lot more than just fulfilling a long-held dream. A more comfortable life matters a whole lot, too.
Sometimes the player even hears of his promotion in a situation that communicates just how clearly his life is about to change. When new Utah Jazz point guard Diante Garrett heard he would be joining the team earlier this week, he was shopping at Walmart. From Aaron Falk for The Salt Lake Tribune:
On Monday night, Diante Garrett was walking through the aisles of an Iowa Walmart, picking up juice and cereal and milk to stock his apartment with as he waited for the D-League season to start.
That’s when his telephone rang.
"I couldn’t believe it at first," Garrett, the newest member of the Utah Jazz, said Wednesday as he sat in the locker room at EnergySolutions Arena. "Then I got real excited. I don’t even remember if I bought everything."
It's easy to imagine Garrett pushing a cart through the aisles, scoping out deals on everything from cheese to bed sheets, and suddenly getting the news that he longer needed to depend on Walmart's low prices. There's no shame in shopping at the store, obviously, but there has to be something nice about knowing you're about to gain a fresh set of options.
Garrett earned time with the Oklahoma City Thunder last season, playing 149 minutes over 19 games, but it's safe to say he has a better chance of sticking with the lowly Jazz, who entered his debut Wednesday as the league's only winless team at 0-8. Garrett helped them to their first win, however, scoring seven points and dishing out five assists over 22 minutes in the 111-105 victory over the New Orleans Pelicans.
The Walmart workers who presumably had to reshelve the items in Garrett's cart were not made available for comment.
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