Los Angeles Lakers’ rookie Ryan Kelly had just had a career-high night at TD Garden against the Boston Celtics during their second game of their Grammy road trip. 20 points in 34 minutes, a dunk that had the entire Lakers bench on their feet and a crucial rebound that put the ball in the hands of the Lakers with 25 seconds on the clock. Without Kelly, the Lakers would not have squeaked out a 107-104 win against their rival Celtics.
Without Kelly, is what the Lakers were, when they found themselves back at the team hotel that night. After the best game of his Lakers career, Kelly found himself standing outside of TD Garden, alone, waiving down a taxi, after his teammates accidentally left him at the arena. Twenty dollars poorer, Kelly told his story to LakersNation.com:
“After my game against Boston, my best career game to date, I was out with my family and friends, talking a little bit and all of a sudden I look around and nobody’s there. I walk to the bus. No bus. Nobody was there. I call my teammates, ‘We left.’ I had to take a cab back after my best career game to the hotel. So I joked, I scored 20 points and I had to pay 20 bucks to get back to the hotel.”
Kelly is the only rookie on the Lakers roster, which means he’s stuck with all of the rookie duties. In the locker room on the road, he’s the last one to leave, since he’s in charge of taking down all the name tags from each locker. On the road, he wakes up an hour before everyone else to make sure all of his rookie duties are finished, including taking care of his teammates’ bags. He’s often seen carting out all the luggage after practice. He doesn’t complain about running his teammates’ errands and picking up dirty towels. But, after being left at the TD Garden, he’s got a simple message for his teammates:
“I try to do all my rookie duties the best I can! You have to look out for your guy!”
The Lakers are lucky to have a good-hearted rookie like Kelly on their squad. Though he wasn’t ecstatic about getting left at TD Garden, he couldn’t help but laugh himself. Hey, at least the Duke alum has a great story to tell about his first year donning the purple and gold.
VIDEO: Lakers Nation Goes Behind The Scenes Of The Lakers Grammy Trip