The only cost is being at the beck and call of future Hall of Famers. So if Kevin Garnett or Paul Pierce needs them to make a run to the pharmacy or the grocery store, they sprint.
“It’s all in good fun, whether it’s go buy 50 Old Spice Shower gels or stuff like that,” Gaffney said. “If they need something done at the store, or the grocery store or the mall, they’ll send one of us to do it. And they look out for us. When you have a veteran group like that, you have to work your way up the totem pole, and everyone has to do it. It doesn’t matter how old you are. If you’re a rookie in this league, you have to do whatever’s asked of you.”
The benefit is simply being able to observe.
“Just the focus that guys have right now,” Lafayette said. “Just being here, seeing this time, being around the players at this time. It’s a great experience and you learn a lot just from being here. It changed a lot [from the regular season]. These guys really locked in. They want a championship this year. The determination on the road. They show a lot of determination to get games on the road, and they don’t let their guard down for nothing.”
Starting the season with the Lakers, Gaffney’s been on the inside of two teams that could possibly be finalists.
“To me it’s no surprise that the two hottest teams in the playoffs right now are the Lakers and the Celtics,” Gaffney said. “It’s no surprise to me why both the Lakers and the Celtics are in the situation they’re in right now. Their core group of veterans, it’s all guys that goes about their business like players should. It’s the way things should be done.”
Being around a locker room stuffed with creatures of habit, they’ve both pick up on routines and idiosyncrasies. The most important thing they’ve learned: “As a rookie,” Gaffney said, “My routine is to stay out of the way of the routines of the veterans right now.”