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Suns make rookie Kendall Marshall rock a Justin Bieber backpack (Picture)

One of the most popular forms of rookie hazing in the NBA comes in the form of wearing a humiliating backpack. While MLB teams like to make their rookies wear speedos and parade around Times Square, NBA veterans go a bit easier on their new guys and simply make them wear book bags that you would find at your local Toys “R” Us store. As you can see from the photo above that was taken from this video on Suns.com, Phoenix rookie Kendall Marshall is dealing with the Justin Bieber backpack treatment at the start of training camp.

“I’m gonna make it a fashion statement,” Marshall said confidently. “I’m gonna wear it all the time to the point where they’re gonna be mad like, ‘This doesn’t phase him.’ That’s where I’m going with it.”

The Timberwolves forced Ricky Rubio to wear a similar backpack last season, and he also took it in stride. At the end of the day, repping the Biebs is much better than having to wear these backpacks that the Nuggets’ veterans forced their rookies to carry around. If Marshall truly can turn it into a fashion statement, he’ll earn some serious respect from his teammates.

Kendall Marshall says he plays hard to get his NBA 2K13 player rating up

Former UNC guard Kendall Marshall was drafted by the Suns with the 13th overall pick back in June. While we have yet to see how his game will translate from college to the NBA, the video game world waits for no one. Like any other rookie on an NBA roster, Marshall will be featured in the popular basketball game NBA 2K13 when it’s released on October. His career has hardly begun, but the game has already provided him with some added motivation.

“I am, definitely worried about (my player rating),” Marshall told Dylan Murphy of DIME Magazine. “In college I played for Twitter followers. I played well so I could get more followers. In the NBA, I gotta get my rating up. That’s all I’m worried about. …. I’m just hoping for a 70. If I can get a 70, I’ll be happy and just build from there. My passing better be at least a 95.”

We’ll assume, of course, that Kendall plays the game first and foremost for his teammates, coaches and fans, and the whole social media and video game thing is just a bonus. But then again, he did say he played Angry birds for 30 minutes to an hour before games at UNC, so video games are clearly a huge part of his life.

Marshall averaged only 7.2 points per game in his two-year career at UNC, but he recorded eight assists per game. He can expect his passer rating to be a lot higher than his shooting, but a 95 for passing may be stretching it. As we have already learned from players like this one, Marshall is not the only NBA player who cares about his NBA 2K rating.

Chest bump to I Am a GM for the story