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Richard Jefferson has mastered the art of the hotel prank

Pranks are a part of the NBA life. Richard Jefferson just happens to be better at a certain one than most.

Pranks in the locker rooms and on road trips are common. Jazz rookie Rudy Gobert got his car filled with popcorn when he forgot the team donuts last year, a gag that other teams have pulled off as well.

In a conversation with then-Jazz guard Diante Garrett, he admitted that a couple of his other teammates are involved in a long-running hotel prank.

"When we first get into town to the hotel, Richard Jefferson always takes Brandon Rush's key and hides it," Garrett said. "Brandon is always looking for his key and can't get into his room. Every time."

When asked about his part, Jefferson, now on the Mavericks, stayed largely mum.

"Those are allegations," he said, not wanting to admit to the recurring act. "I only did it once and I think somebody else kind of took over that role."

It seems a little lame, perhaps, and it certainly doesn't provide the visual of an SUV full of popcorn. But it was a problem for Rush, especially when the key ended up in the hands of a stranger.

"He's lying. He does it every road trip," said Rush, shaking his head. "The first time he did it, he gave it somebody else. Some random lady at the hotel, but she found me and gave it back."

Both players laughed it off, saying it's all in fun. Jefferson admitted that they have a bit of a big-brother, little-brother dynamic going on.

"I kinda grew up with his brother. His older brother was in my class, his middle brother is one of my closest friends, so I've known Brandon since he was, I think, 15," Jefferson said, before reverting back into teasing mode. "I can't really say what I think about him. He just has such a terrible body. As far as NBA players go, it's him, Jared Dudley, Popeye Jones."

Rush, listening in from across the locker room, laughed at being lumped in with some of the NBA's homeliest players. As for the key antic, the younger victim has figured out how to keep his hotel card in his own possession.

"I've learned now that I just need to get off the bus before he does," Rush said. "We get to the hotel and I jump off."


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