WASHINGTON, DC – DECEMBER 14: Robert Sacre #50 of the Los Angeles Lakers celebrates a first half basket against the Washington Wizards at Verizon Center on December 14, 2012 in Washington, DC. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)

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:

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.


About Matt Clapp

Matt is an editor at The Comeback. He attended Colorado State University, wishes he was Saved by the Bell's Zack Morris, and idolizes Larry David. And loves pizza and dogs because obviously.

He can be followed on Twitter at @Matt2Clapp (also @TheBlogfines for Cubs/MLB tweets and @DaBearNecess for Bears/NFL tweets), and can be reached by email at mclapp@thecomeback.com.