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Fred VanVleet: Houston Rockets get surprise gifts from new teammate as 2023-24 NBA club begins training camp at McNeese State


LAKE CHARLES, Louisiana (KTRK) — That’s one way to endear yourself to new co-workers.

Fred VanVleet, one of the big-splash, free-agent acquisitions made by the Houston Rockets over the summer, masterminded an act of kindness to his new teammates.

The NBA team, which started up training camp at McNeese State in Lake Charles, Louisiana, on Tuesday, posted on its social media accounts on Wednesday a video showing the moment Rockets players – including Jabari Smith Jr., Boban Marjanovic, Jae’Sean Tate, Amen Thompson, and Tari Eason – found the bounty of goods at their lockers.

“For the journey ahead, one step at a time,” a written note read with each goodie bag.

SEE ALSO: Rockets barring Kevin Porter Jr. from team after arrest

The items, while high-end, appeared to be functional for any athlete having to endure a grueling 82-game season, including the following:

  • TheraGun Mini, a handheld, cordless percussion massager;
  • Therabody SmartGoggles, an eye mask that massages and helps aid sleep;
  • Tiffany & Co. playing cards;
  • Paperback copies of “Chop Wood Carry Water: How to Fall in Love with the Process of Becoming Great,” a 2015 self-help book written by Joshua Medcalf;
  • A pair of Beats by Dre wireless headphones;
  • And, a pair of Crocs Echo Clogs from Foot Locker.

The players’ reactions? Priceless.

“Fred got good NIL,” Eason joked, referencing the policy of compensating amateur-level athletes.

“This is kinda clutch,” Thompson said about the TheraGun.

“Crocs?!” Eason added before giving VanVleet a big hug.

Tilman Fertitta could never. Just sayin’.

By the way, Fertitta, as the Rockets’ owner, will pay VanVleet $129 million over the next three years.

The new-look Rockets under head coach Ime Udoka begin the five-game preseason on Oct. 10 when they host the Indiana Pacers.

Houston then opens the regular season on the road against the Orlando Magic on Oct. 25. The team’s first home game is on Sunday, Oct. 29, against the Golden State Warriors.

SEE ALSO: NBA schedule release: Rockets and incoming stars VanVleet, Brooks to play 7 home games in the 1st 9



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