Vander Blue spent 10 days with the Boston Celtics midway through the 2013-14 season but was not re-signed. It was just one stop on a wild season for the rookie. ESPN the Magazine details his adventures, including his brief stop in Boston:
Memphis was his 21st birthday. Delaware was three roommates in a cold apartment. Philadelphia was his first hotel suite. Israel was the large cheese pizza he ordered every day because he didn't know what else to eat. Blue had never been out of the country for more than a few days, and he mostly stayed in the apartment he shared with the team's other American players playing Xbox. After eight lonely weeks abroad, he decided to switch to a new agent, who promised to find him a job closer to home.
Boston was a phone call, late in the morning of Jan. 22, with news that he had been offered a 10-day contract to play for the Celtics. Less than an hour later, a black town car was waiting outside his apartment in Delaware; the man behind the wheel wore a tuxedo and referred to him only as Mr. Blue. A few hours later, he was jogging onto the court in front of 15,000 fans to guard John Wall. He took four shots in five games and was not re-signed.
Idaho was the 60-inch flat-screen TV he purchased at Best Buy on a buyback guarantee because, by his eighth team, he had learned some tricks to living a peripatetic life. You could either buy a cheap TV in each city and somehow resell it, or you could blow it out, spend thousands on the nicest set in the store and return it for a full refund a few weeks later.
"I'm a victim of the system, but I can still work the system," he says. "I know I'm going to be giving that TV back."