There's a long history in pro sports of veterans hazing rookies, and the NBA proves no exception. While players are certainly apt to indulge in making youngsters carry backpacks made for little girls, the league's most popular prank is filling a teammate's automobile with popcorn. The Cleveland Cavaliers did it to rookie Dion Waiters back on April Fools' Day, and it's enough of a tradition that Patrick Cassidy of Dime was able to collect several of them for a special post. At this point, rookies should just expect it.
Regardless of any opinion that the prank may be played out, the Golden State Warriors deemed it appropriate to get popcorn-happy on the white sedan of celebratory bench wing Kent Bazemore. They put together a video of it, too, and you can watch it above.
In all honesty, I am not particularly interested in the video for its humor — we know what this scene looks like, and it's not even the first popcorn-prank viral video in franchise history. Instead, I'm here to talk about the humor of the incident.
As we've learned over time, the entire point of the popcorn prank is to see the victim's reaction. The greatest popcorn prank ever holds that designation because Kenyon Martin threatened to sit out the playoffs if the perpetrator did not come forward. No one asked how much popcorn was used, or what flavor it was, or whether or not they paid a ballboy to eat it all in the aftermath. The joke is always that the player gets mad or embarrassed.
Yet, in the two-minute Warriors clip, Bazemore does not arrive on the scene until the 1:15 mark. That's a gross imbalance between setup and punchline, particularly because the setup in this case doesn't involve much explanation.
This prank will be played again several times next season, and it's worth keeping these comedy guidelines in mind. I advise because I care.