The NBA trade deadline is Thursday, which means it’s that time of the year where Los Angeles Lakers trainer Gary Vitti pulls a very mean prank on a Lakers player.
It’s simple, yet highly effective: Vitti tells a player annually that Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak “needs to see you in his office”.
In sports, hearing the general manager needs to see you in their office is usually going to mean that you’ve been released or traded. And when it’s around the trade deadline, it’s even easier to connect the dots.
Well, this year, Vitti’s victim was apparently Lakers veteran center Robert Sacre:
Every year before the trade deadline Gary Vitti pranks a player by telling them “Mitch needs to see you in his office” Today’s victim: Sacre
— Serena Winters (@SerenaWinters) February 17, 2016
What makes it even worse — or better, depending on how you see it — is that Sacre would seem to be a very real trade candidate as Fox Sports’ Andrew Lynch writes:
Still, poor Robert Sacre, this year’s victim. He’s been with the Lakers his entire NBA career — which also means that his deal expires at the end of this season. That makes him a decent enough trade chip, probably as part of a larger deal, and a trade a real possibility. It’s a devastatingly effective prank.
Now, the fake trade pranks are certainly nothing new in the sports world, with the most notable (and awesome) one being the Philadelphia Phillies making pitcher Kyle Kendrick think he’d been traded to Japan in 2008:
Unfortunately, there isn’t any video evidence out there of Sacre reacting to Vitti’s prank, but we can assume he wasn’t a huge fan of it.