These days, video games are just as big a part of American culture as any other pastime. Gaming has become big business, with some games getting budgets that rival huge summer blockbuster movies and make hundreds of millions of dollars in profit. At this point, either you're a gamer now, have been one in the past or know somebody who is.
Well, that includes NBA players because they love their games just like everybody else. Players are known to take their gaming consoles with them on the road so they can get their time in between games and practices and some have even become big parts of the Twitch community where they broadcast their talents to the world. Well, it can be kind of hard for NBA players to go buy games or consoles at the store, so sometimes they have to go through nefarious means to purchase their stuff. This is one story of an NBA player doing just that, and things going hilariously awry.
Being In The NBA Seems Amazing
It takes a lifetime's worth of hard work to get to the NBA, but once you get there the job has a ton of perks. Not only do you make millions of dollars, you get to travel a ton, you get to play basketball every day, you're famous and you get a ton of free stuff. All things considered, it seems like the greatest job ever.
But Believe It Or Not, NBA Life Can Get Boring
It might sound crazy, but life in the NBA can get super boring after a while. Yes, the games are exciting, and the money is good, but what about all those lonely nights in cities you don't know anything about? Going out to clubs and partying might be fun for a while, but eventually that gets old too, and you just end up spending a lot of your days in hotel rooms waiting to go to practice or the games. It leaves guys with a ton of free time on their hands.
Which Brings Us To Josh Hart
Josh Hart is an NBA player you might be familiar with for his time as a member of the Los Angeles Lakers. Hart was a part of the young core of players that had Lakers fans everywhere excited alongside the likes of Brandon Ingram, Lonzo Ball, and Kyle Kuzma. The bullish guard has a knack for driving to the rim and finishing tough shots and hitting long distance jumpers. He's a great type of modern-day guard that can help any team.
Josh Hart Went To Villanova For College
Hart wasn't a huge, big-time recruit, or a can't miss prospect, instead he was a player who got better each year he was on campus. He led Villanova to a national championship in 2016 and is one of the most decorated players in the school's history. Thanks to that championship run he seemed like a lock to make it to the next level.
He Was Drafted In 2017
Hart was a late first-round draft selection of the Utah Jazz in the 2017 NBA Draft before he was promptly traded to the Los Angeles Lakers. He was selected with the final pick of the first round which guaranteed him a spot on the roster and multimillion-dollar contract. Obviously, this was a dream come true for Hart, a guy from a small town in Maryland makes it all the way to the NBA, and for a glamour franchise in a big city as well.
Hart Was Excited To Get His Career Started
The Lakers were in a bit of a transitional period when they acquired Hart, but he was looking forward to being a huge part of their resurgence, and wanted to do so by focusing on defense. “I want to be a defensive stopper," he said at the time. "I want to go against the best players at my position, the best guards and put myself to the test. That’s what my goals are for this year: to keep getting better.”
But Josh Had Other Interests As Well
In his brief time in the spotlight, Josh has built a reputation as one of the NBA's biggest video gamers. He's even taken affinity to the battle royale game Fortnite, which has taken the world by storm. It's become a bit of a punchline, and he supposedly played the game for 10 hours straight the night before a game one time, with a player from an opposing team at that.
But He's Not Just A Fortnite Guy
Josh is a gamer, not just a Fortnite fan, so he dabbles in all sorts of games across all consoles. So, when the Nintendo Switch dropped a few months before he was drafted, of course he wanted to get his hands on one. Being a college student at the time, he wasn't able to grab one because like we all know, those college years are rough and nobody really has $300 to throw down on a gaming console without some major help from your parents. So, Hart had to wait.
And The Nintendo Switch Is Pretty Awesome
With the console's portability, you can see how the Switch comes in handy for a guy like Hart who is always on the road. You also get to play awesome games such as NBA 2K, Super Mario Odyssey, and Marvel: Ultimate Alliance on the console so you have variety. It's been a favorite for gamers basically since the moment it released.
Josh Eventually Got His Switch
And that alone might not have been a news story, until one day Josh fired off a seemingly harmless tweet and things kind of unfolded from there. Josh just wanted to complain a bit about "experts" critiquing his performance on the court, and he got way more than he bargained for.
Josh Actually Has A Debt To Pay
Apparently, Josh bought a Nintendo Switch from a fan named Sam Smith a couple of years ago but only paid half of the debt. Josh and the guy agreed on $200 and Lakers tickets for the fan in exchange for the Switch, but Sam only received the money and hasn't gotten his tickets.
The Fan Came Forward With Proof Too
Rather than just throw that random tweet out there, the fan who sold Josh the Switch came forward with a bunch of proof of the transaction and the deal. He posted sceenshots of the direct messages between he and Josh and it was all right there, plain as day.
But Wait, Josh Tries To Make A Deal
The fan posted the whole exchange, including Josh, who is currently on a 3-year $4,983,840 deal, haggling to get a lower price. Honestly, I can't blame him, after taxes and all that, you can kind of see that isn't a ton of money, especially for somebody living in Los Angeles. I know it sounds crazy, but LA is super expensive.
Josh kept negotiating until he got the deal he wanted, and in order to lower that price he threw in something that any fan could appreciate: free tickets to a game. Yup, Josh offered Sam tickets and the chance to meet him at any game they chose. It seemed like they were closing in on a deal.
A Final Agreement
Finally, Josh and the fan reached a deal. The final terms were $200 and tickets to a Lakers game in exchange for the Switch. That's a pretty sweet deal for both sides, Josh got the Switch, and a game, plus shipping, for a little over half the price. Plus, the tickets surely wouldn't be hard to come by since Josh is, you know, on the team.
Josh Even Seems Happy About the Purchase
From the looks of the fire emojis, Josh is definitely happy with his purchase of the Switch which means his end of the deal needs to be honored next. He sent the money over and next up is the tickets, right? Well, things weren't that simple.
Trying To Find A Game
You have to hand it to Sam here, he clearly had a plan. When it came time to choose which game to go to, he chose the hottest ticket of the season. When he told Josh he wanted to attend the December 18th game against the defending NBA champs the Golden State Warriors, Josh told him right away, "That will be a hard one."
That's because Josh knew not only were Steph Curry, Kevin Durant and the rest of the Warriors in town that night, but that was also the game where the Lakers would be retiring both of Lakers legend Kobe Bryant's numbers in a ceremony at halftime. It was going to be tough, but a deal is a deal so the fan was counting on Josh to come through.
Things Get Weird Now
From the looks of the direct messages Josh went ghost on Sam for the whole 2017-18 season after their agreement. Needless to say, he didn't get to attend the game and see Kobe get his numbers retired, but it doesn't look like there were any hard feelings. In fact, Sam checked in to invite Josh to his wedding, because I guess that's what people who do a random Craigslist (or Twitter) deal do. Right?
Sam Starts Trolling Josh
Sam photoshops one of Josh's tweets and sends it to Josh to remind him of how he switched up and gone ghost on him. I admire this level of petty from Sam, to be honest, I'm surprised Josh didn't just block him after this. But I guess at that point he had to just try anything to get his debt paid, he really didn't have anything to lose at that point.
Sam Eventually Goes Public
Left with no other choice, Sam eventually goes public in hopes of getting his tickets at some point. Since Josh isn't responding to his direct messages, even though he's still active on social media, you have to figure Sam sees this as his only shot at getting Josh's attention.
The public humiliation might have been enough to get Josh to reach back out and follow up, because eventually he did. More than a year seems like way too long of a time for a deal to be honored but at least it is happening, and now Sam is getting a jersey for all his troubles too. Honestly, that's a pretty sweet deal, $200, tickets to a game and a free jersey? That's way more than what he paid for that Switch to begin with.
Sam Lets The World Know
After going public with the story, Sam keeps things honest by letting the world know that Josh finally responded and is honoring his end of the deal. Sam revealed that Josh reached out to him and they were working to find a date for a game that works best for him. This might be a bit awkward when the two finally meet considering how public this thing became, but at least Sam will get his tickets and a jersey thrown in now.
But There's One Last Plot Twist!
The NBA is crazy, and in the league just about anything can happen. It's that unpredictability that makes people fans tune in to begin with. Even with the Golden State Warriors looking like prohibitive favorites year in and year out these days, fans still watch because of the chance somebody might knock them off like the Raptors did this year.
There's Only One Thing That Could Run Sam And Josh's Deal
Part of that unpredictability that everybody loves is the player movement in the NBA. Players get traded or move on to new teams often, it's just the nature of the game. It so happens that Josh was one of the names mentioned in a ton of trade rumors while his Lakers were in hot pursuit of superstar big man Anthony Davis. So there was an outside chance Josh wouldn't even be a Laker next season...
And That's Exactly What Happened
Of course the Lakers and New Orleans Pelicans eventually settled on a deal that sent Anthony Davis to Los Angeles, while the Pelicans got a package of players including Josh in the deal. Just like that, Josh and Sam's deal was in jeopardy again, and they were all the way back to square one. Of course.
Sam Might See His Game Still
In theory, Josh will be playing the Lakers in Los Angeles twice next season so he has two changes to give Sam his tickets and his jersey at some point, but Reddit decided to help too. They've started a fundraiser to get Sam a few tickets to a game, and even though their posts keep getting flagged, they might figure out a way to pass the GoFundMe page around and raise the money to send Sam to a game. If not, at least he got that $200 last summer, I guess.