Several players have their own rituals. Nick Young of the Golden State Warriors dribbles the ball all the way to the locker room after his pregame routine. The Houston Rockets ball boy, however, wasn’t letting Swaggy P get his rhythm.
As reported by Chris Haynes of ESPN, a ball boy confiscated the ball from Young before Game 7 of the Western Conference Finals:
When Nick Young is done with his pregame shooting, he always dribbles the ball to the locker room. A Rockets ball boy followed him to confiscate the ball, leaving Warriors’ players puzzled. “He came over here for a ball?” a confused JaVale McGee asked.
— Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) May 29, 2018
It’s rude but understandable behavior. It is the most critical game for both teams. The Rockets are looking to maximize home court advantage not just during the game, but also before it.
They’ll be without star point guard Chris Paul who’s out with a strained hamstring. He’s been the main engine that’s been pushing the Rockets in the playoffs. James Harden, who’s expected to win the MVP, has been inconsistent throughout.
After a horrendous Game 4 and 5, Harden spoke about his poor shooting, as per Tim MacMahon of ESPN:
“I’m just missing shots. But we’re winning, and I’m trying to compete on the defensive end and do other things to help my team win. But if we’ve got a guy like Eric Gordon making shots and being aggressive, who cares?”
From Harden’s words, hopefully, Gordon picks up the slack. Harden, too, needs to play like an MVP. The Rockets can only do so much in their home court. They’ll be facing one of the greatest teams ever assembled. They can’t just rely on their ball boys.