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Alex Acker pinches pennies

It's time to catch up with Alex Acker in his latest Free Press rookie diary!

As a young NBA player living in a strange city with strange driving habits, Acker has a lot of spare time on his hands. How does he pass his time? Apparently by hanging out with Amir Johnson and Jason Maxiell at the mall:

Mostly, we go to the mall. That's about it. Anytime we go out, we go out together, though. We never go out one at a time. It's always two or three. We go to Somerset, or the other mall that's way out there -- Great Lakes Crossing. That's it. We go to that one, too.

Some people recognize us, and they ask for autographs and stuff. Some people just point because we're tall. That's about it. They did that to me in college, but it's less now. In college, everyone knew who I was. In the NBA, they see you and think you're a star, they're like, 'Oh, you're in the NBA.' That's a lot different.

I'm not spending my money, though, I'm just up there buying hats, T-shirts, and stuff like that. Nothing big. And you can't really spend anything with the dress code. You have to get the right attire. That's what I'm spending my money on.

You know, this is the second time he's mentioned being thrifty -- last time he was talking about saving his per diem. That got me thinking: the new NBA dress code is a little unfair -- the guys stuck on the end of the bench aren't the ones making the big bucks, but they're the ones that need to buy the most suits for each game. Do you think Acker cuts corners with the dress code, sporting a little more Jos. A. Banks and Hush Puppy than Gucci and Kenneth Cole? Is he always the last one to reach for the check after dinner, hoping that Maxiell, who makes more than twice as much, picks it up? Hmmm....

ROOKIE DIARY: Alex Acker [Detroit Free Press]