If Jarace Walker was expecting some form of rookie hazing, this has got to be the worst.
The Indiana Pacers rookie was hilariously hazed by his teammates by letting him pick up the bill at a steakhouse in Nashville. Unfortunately, for the Pacers’ 2023 first-round pick, the check is nearly $9,000. That’s $8,685.40, to be exact.
There is no way to know if this was a joke or if they really let Walker pay for everything. NBA teams consider rookie hazing a tradition and view it as a method to build bonds and trust with teammates. Most of these duties involve harmless antics intended to make everyone laugh. However, picking up a dinner tab worth almost $9,000 is pretty hefty.
According to Spotrac, Walker’s average salary is $6.89 million annually over four years. That should cover the cost nicely, but the vets shouldn’t nudge the rookies in the wrong direction regarding money spending. After all, as an NBA player on a rookie scale contract, he still needs to prove himself. He fails to do that, and he’s eventually out of a job.
For Walker, however, his career is off to a solid start. He averaged 14.3 points, 7.8 rebounds, 3.3 assists, 1.3 steals, and 1.3 blocks in the Summer League.
All things considered, the former Houston Cougar is primarily a defense-first player, a type that Indiana sorely lacks. He has a high motor and excellent defensive IQ that he uses to disrupt opposing offenses.
If he could bring that defensive intensity consistently, that $9,000 tab would be the least of his worries.