Breaking news: Buddy Hield solves the case of the Sacramento Kings' underwear bandit

Does this look like a man concerned someone stole his underwear? (Getty Images)
Does this look like a man concerned someone stole his underwear? (Getty Images)

Rookie initiation is a basketball tradition almost as old as Dr. James Naismith. Things are tamer now than when Chris Webber’s teammates allegedly made him ride under the team bus as the No. 1 overall pick, which Richard Jefferson proved last week by making Kay Felder dress as an Oompa Loompa.

Hazing now trends toward sporting pink Barbie backpacks and taking care of fake babies, which is strange enough, but nothing compares to the weirdness that Buddy Hield experienced on Thursday.

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Following a shocking All-Star Weekend trade that saw DeMarcus Cousins swapped for the No. 6 pick in this past June’s draft and several other New Orleans Pelicans pieces, Hield made his Sacramento Kings debut, collecting 16 points and six rebounds in 26 minutes off the bench in a 116-100 win over the Denver Nuggets. Afterwards, the newest member of the Kings couldn’t find his underwear:

This poses a problem, especially for Hield, who was sure to be subjected to a horde of media folk looking for interviews after his first game for Sacramento. Underwear is pretty much the first thing a player wants to put on for a postgame press conference. And for some players, it’s the only thing.

It’s little consolation to Hield, but apparently he’s not the first victim of the Kings’ underwear bandit:

It’s an epidemic, this boxer burglary in Sacramento, and the locker room finger-pointing soon began:

It is unclear when or how this tradition of thong thievery began, but we’re probably safe ruling out former Kings coach George Karl, who admitted in 2002 to not wearing underwear since college. Really. To think Cousins was accused of being the locker room problem. This sort of stuff, stealing another man’s skivvies, is the kind of thing that can splinter even teams as tight Charles Barkley’s briefs.

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After some investigation, Hield uncovered the identity of his new panty-plundering teammate, and then bared all to the media, exposing Kosta Koufos as Sacramento’s jockey-jacker. Hield took a moment to work over Koufos’ name, running through Cuckoo and Couscous, before finding Kosta:

“I’m going to start calling him ‘Goofus,'” Hield told reporters. “He stole my boxers and stuff. He’s cool, though. I’m just going to buy him an extra pair.”

From the sound of it, Koufos isn’t short on undershorts, since he’s been stealing his teammates’ intimates all year, which is just about the most positive news to come from the Kings in a long time:

I mean, no wonder there are only a “few left” at the team store:

There's nothing more romantic than sporting a lottery team's thong. (Getty Images)
There’s nothing more romantic than sporting a lottery team’s thong. (Getty Images)

Kudos to Hield for coming up with Goofus on a moment’s notice, because that’s not a bad moniker for a 7-foot 28-year-old who has reportedly been plucking people’s underpants from their lockers during a playoff pursuit. In the process, I think we may have revealed a pretty sweet nickname for Hield, too.

Just call the rookie King Commando, because he’s the new lord of the underworld in Sacramento.

UPDATE: Buddy got his underwear back. Order is restored, and his boys are no longer flying free.

This is an important step forward for the franchise. You just can’t leave players hanging out to dry.

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Ben Rohrbach is a contributor for Ball Don’t Lie and Shutdown Corner on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter!