WASHINGTON, D.C. - Every professional sports team puts their rookies through some sort of hazing as a way to initiate them to the team and the league. Every professional sports team also does what they can to build team camaraderie before the season begins. As a means of killing two birds with one stone, the Washington Wizards went out and forced their rookies to sing karaoke at Hill Country Barbecue near the Archives metro stop.
Yeah, this was going to be a topic at media day.
Ted Leonsis, as is his custom, gave the media a quick heads-up before the festivities began.
"Jan Vesely was rocking the house yesterday with his Serbian polka folk song," he said.
And from there, everyone pounced. After talking to several players, here's what we know.
Vesely did indeed sing a Serbian song, though players weren't sure
When first asked about it, Vesely didn't want to discuss the night. "You heard that?" he asked a media member. "I don't know what you're talking about. But finally, he did relent and say that he sung a Serbian song for his teammates. The problem: his teammates didn't really know anything about it.
"Jan, he sung some song from over where he's from," Andray Blatche said. "I didn't understand a word."
"Jan sang some, uh, some Russian song or something," JaVale McGee said.
Then, there were the players who found it cringe-worthy.
"He sounded like he was just screaming up there the whole time," Rashard Lewis said. "It was just real loud. It just sounded like a lot of noise."
But either way, everyone laughed. Vesely never did say the name of the song, probably because none of us knew it. If he's going to have to sing, might as well be in his native language.
The Wizards' other two rookies ended up singing together. Several players only said they sung a rap song.
"The other two guys -- Singleton and Mack -- they sung a rap song. Y'all know what a rap song is, I'm not going to sit here and rap for you," Lewis said.
Ultimately, though, we eventually learned it was "Spend It" by 2 Chains and TI, which explains why Lewis didn't want to rap it for media members. However, there was a bit of a snag.
"Mack and Chris started singing something which Mack didn't know no words to," Blatche said.
"Shelvin, yeah, he had a little trouble with the words," Lewis confirmed.
Ultimately, Mack read the lyrics off his phone, and that was that.
Everyone had fun, though
But just so we're clear: all of this was in good fun.
"Yeah, it was fun," Blatche said.
"Everybody was laughing and laughing, so it was fun," Vesely said.
"It was all fun and jokes," Lewis said. "We had a good time."
As far as rookie hazing goes, this was pretty good. It's not a surprise they had fun.