Top 15 Hilarious Pranks Pulled Off By NBA Players

Sometimes, amidst the team pride, the competitiveness, and the importance put on winning championships in the NBA, it’s easy to forget that basketball is still just a game - and games are supposed to be fun! Although this fierceness is constantly displayed on the court, b-ballers also have a knack for being able to let loose more than players in other sports. One of the main ways they do this is through pranks.

When we say pranks, we’re not strictly referring to elaborate, creative, and well-thought-out jokes. They can be simple, silly, immature, and sometimes just plain weird. They can also be completely random, a repeat gag, or part of an all-out prank war. For purposes of this list, it doesn’t matter what the details are, as long as the prank is funny.

It’s also worth mentioning that a couple of these pranks were perpetrated by former NBA players who were not active at the time of the joke. Since those involved in the aforementioned pranks are some of the biggest legends in the history of the game (and the gags are really, really funny), we felt compelled to include them. After all, this was never meant to be only a list of pranks executed by active players. Instead, it’s simply 15 funny ruses pulled by NBA players both past and present.

15 Kevin Durant’s Secret Stache


14 Dwight Howard, Leader of the Lakers

When Dwight Howard was traded to the Los Angeles Lakers on August 10, 2012, his new teammates made sure to make him the star of the team right from the get-go. During the team’s first home game of the season, they let Howard lead the squad out of the tunnel, but everyone secretly stopped just prior to reaching the court - leaving Howard to jog out all by himself. After Dwight realized the ruse, the rest of his Lakers teammates joined him - and thankfully, it was all captured on video. “That was supposed to be something for rookies,” Howard (then an eight-year NBA veteran) later said, playing the good sport. “They got me.”

13 The Paper Cup

Sometimes a prank doesn’t have to be elaborate to be funny. Take the antics of a few Dallas Mavericks as an example. During a blowout against the Cleveland Cavaliers back in 2013, a few of the veteran players decided to have some fun on the bench. When Tim Duncan walked over to take a seat, Manu Ginobili carefully, quietly, and quickly placed a paper cup on Duncan’s seat just as he lowered himself down. After he sat down and realized what had happened, the entire section of the bench erupted.

12 Not a Drop to Drink

11 Charles Barkley Stays Ahead of Manute Bol

10 Kent Bazemore Gets Popped


Filling a teammate’s car up with something odd and inconvenient (or filling their car’s A/C vents with something messy) has been a classic prank for some time. The key to making it unique, however, is exactly what is selected - and Kent Bazemore’s Golden State Warrior buddies came up with an idea that really popped. They completely filled his car - floor mats to sunroof - with popcorn. Spending a year in the NBA as a rookie is always a challenging experience, but spending all day cleaning fluffy, buttery kernels out of your car is a different sort of obstacle altogether. Not to mention the fact that he’d now be smelling the salty snack while driving for the foreseeable future.

9 Devin Booker Packs It Up


8 Old Man Kyrie


This particular gag was part of a Pepsi Max commercial, but that doesn’t make it any less funny. Just after winning Rookie of the Year honors in 2011, Kyrie Irving of the Cleveland Cavaliers was disguised as an old man, complete with a gray wig and facial hair, a prosthetic gut, and the voice and mannerisms to match. He then rolled up on a pickup basketball game in the park as “Uncle Drew,” who began by simply watching from courtside. Eventually, however, “Uncle Drew” decided he had the skills to join the game. Although many of the players and onlookers were obviously skeptical - especially after the old man didn’t appear to be especially talented - they still allowed him to play on.

7 Nik Stauskas’ Corny House

No description needed. I didn't have a car this year so my house got popcornd. Real funny guys. Real funny smh!

A video posted by Nik Stauskas (@nikstauskas11) on

6 Who Got J.R.?


Charles Barkley is back again to prank another teammate, but this time the ruse is much more elaborate, and also involves help from Rick Mahorn and Muggsy Bogues. Bogues invited J.R. Reid over to his place to hang out, and while the two were chatting, some “breaking” sports news came on the TV. A local news anchor (in a pre-recorded segment) announced that Mahorn was getting traded from the Philadelphia 76ers to the Charlotte Hornets for Reid. The rookie was instantly stunned, even more so when the TV showed Mahorn and Barkley getting interviewed (in additional pre-recorded segments) and criticizing Reid numerous times.

5 Shaq’s Chair-Raising Prank

4 Festus Ezeli Gets a Lyft and a Cut


3 Walking With the Suns


2 Kobe’s Sweating Retirement


1 Gilbert Arenas’ Entire Repertoire


During Gilbert Arenas’ 11-year NBA career, he amassed 11,402 points, 2,168 rebounds and 2,909 rebounds while playing for the Warriors, Wizards, Magic, and Grizzlies. However, many people will remember him for his pranks as much as his athletic prowess.

Arenas was constantly pranking teammates, and we couldn’t possibly just pick one instance, so here’s a sampling: Gilbert Arenas once defecated in a teammate’s shoe. (“They read the funny stuff, like me taking a crap in Andray Blatche's shoes,” Arenas later said, “But nobody is going to ask what Andray did to deserve it.”)

He also frequently feuded (playfully) with teammates Nick Young and Dominic McGuire. They stole Gilbert’s iPod and shoes, he stole Young’s car keys and mailed them back home. The duo then broke into Arenas’ house, but he saw them on his security cameras and snuck outside to deflate their tires; they ended up stealing a toaster. (“They stole my daddy's toaster! I like making toast! So I told them, Since you don't want to give my toaster back, it's war.”) The war culminated in an all-out paintball showdown.

Gilbert would also make huge batches of coffee in the hotel bathtubs of his teammates (like Andray Blatche and James Lang), he’d occasionally shred players’ suits so they had to go home in uniform, and he once sprayed Awvee Storey with a hose for three minutes while the latter was on the toilet.

Even as a rookie with the Warriors, Gilbert still had the gall to pull some pranks, like serving powdered donuts that were actually plain ones covered in baby powder. As for the glazed? He had thoroughly licked each one before putting them out for his teammates.

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Top 15 Hilarious Pranks Pulled Off By NBA Players