Updated Oct 3, 2012 - 8:35 am
Justin Bieber, Hello Kitty make appearance at Suns camp
October 3, 2012: Suns rookies receive surprise after practice
LA JOLLA, Calif. -- The first day of two-a-days had just ended.
But before anyone was allowed to leave, Marcin Gortat made like Santa Claus and handed out backpacks---kids' backpacks, to rookies Kendall Marshall, Luke Zeller and Markieff Morris.
Wait, Markieff Morris? He isn't a rookie.
"You're still a rookie until the first regular season game," Gortat explained. "That's how it is around the league. That's just how it is."
Okay, makes sense.
So Morris, Marshall and Zeller each received either a Hello Kitty or Justin Bieber backpack.
Gortat said he was only "executing" an idea drummed up by 16-year veteran Jermaine O'Neal.
"It's pretty cool," Gortat said.
A season ago, according to Gortat, the rookies got off easy. "Last year we had veterans like Steve (Nash) and Grant (Hill). They were just too cool. They were just too nice."
During his own rookie season with the Orlando Magic, Gortat said he made sure to have a PlayStation and Krispy Kreme available before every game. "I needed to have the receipt that I bought (the donuts) that day."
There was more.
The best he said was when the team went on the road. "I had to go flip the newpaper (to) the sports side at 6 o'clock in the morning (so) when one of our veterans opened up (their hotel) door, the sports side got to be flipped up front."
Now entering his sixth NBA season, Gortat is anxious for the day when he'll be able to order the rookies around.
"Just wait until I get older," he said. "Hopefully one day I'm going to have double digit years in the league. Oh boy, oh lord, oh lord."
- Your Top Plays for Today
- Phoenix Suns' Channing Frye finishes third in NBA Sportsmanship Award voting
- Suns' Hornacek on Len, Goodwin: 'We couldn't just throw them out there and hope for the best'
- The Pulse: NBA Playoffs will have your attention over summer
- Suns guard Goran Dragic: 'Consistency' was vital in winning Most Improved Player award
- Goran Dragic, Suns guard - Wednesday April 23Suns guard Goran Dragic talks about winning the Most Improved Player of the Year Award.
- Tim Kempton, Suns analyst - Wednesday April 23Tim Kempton defends his vote for Defensive Player of the Year.
- Tim Kempton, Suns analyst - Tuesday April 22Suns radio analyst Tim Kempton calls in to react to the blast.
- Bickley Blast - Tuesday April 22Bickley blasts on postseason awards and how making it in the playoffs makes a huge difference
- Eddie Johnson, Suns analyst - Monday April 21Suns analyst Eddie Johnson talks about the NBA playoffs.