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How to set up ballers

1. We box out on post-game beverages
NBA players aren't as picky as rock stars, but some have a specific list of stuff they want in the locker room. So after a trade, one of your first tasks is learning what the new guy drinks and making sure the fridge is filled with it. If he likes orange Gatorade and we don't have it, we see if he's OK with blue-or run out and get more ASAP.

2. This is no country club for young men
Most of us aren't really "boys." A buddy who works for the government got me started when I was in my 20s. You'll see kids on mop duty under the basket, but they're like the honorary bat boy at an MLB game. The majority of us have other jobs, so we know how to be employees. Kids'll say "I can't do that" when the first problem comes up.

3. Even wings need a wingman sometimes
Getting phone numbers from hot women in the stands isn't exactly in the job description, but it's part of the gig. Sometimes I would get a number and then wouldn't remember which player had asked me for it. So I'd just send one of the other clubbies onto the bus with the phone number and let the players sort it out.

4. We're ball boys, not fan boys
We're fans of the home team, but sometimes we're just rooting for the game to end. We're trying to get the ice bags, shower towels and postgame dinner orders set up. And we have to get up for work the next day but can't go home until the players leave and everything's put away. So we're like, "Please don't go into OT."

5. Guys don't run the tip drill anymore
Old-school players like Charles Oakley would tip $20 just for "busting your butt." Our tips usually come from food orders. But most guys now are so young they don't know much about tipping-and don't even order food after the game. If we end up 40 cents short at the register, it comes out of our pockets. -- as told to Dan Friedell

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