Elster's World

Friday, December 14, 2007

A Mid-Winter's Day Nightmare

A Trage-comedy by Elster.

Scene I:

A tinted glassed Range Rover pulls into the GM's spot at the parking garage at Madison Square Garden. There is a prominent bumper sticker that reads
"How's My Coaching? Call 1-800--J-I-M-D-O-L-A-N."

Isaiah Thomas walks past the security guard.

Thomas: 'Sup Nigga?

Narrator: Pursuant to unwritten Garden policy, an African American man can call another African American man such a name without it being considered offensive.

Thomas continues past the Garden floor where the Knick City Dancers are completing a practice.

Thomas: What's up my bitches and ho's? Anyone wanna get into the back of my SUV?

Narrator: Pursuant to unwritten Garden policy, calling a female employee a "bitch" or "ho" is frowned upon, but still acceptable.

Scene II

Thomas sits in the office of James Dolan.

Dolan: IT, what's going on with the Knicks? We are 9-32. I thought at this point in the season we'd have at least 12 victories.

Thomas, flashing a 1,000 watt grin: Jim, as I've explained to you in the past, basketball is about confidence and psyche. The team is still recovering from Stephon's father's death, not to mention the ignorant fans who are booing me. It really is not allowing us to pull together as a team.

Dolan (contemplatively): Hmmmm, maybe we should consider banning fans from attending games...

In comes Dolan's servant.

Servant: Sir, there appear to be over 300 people in front of your mansion protesting your ownership of the Knicks.

Dolan (outraged): What? Damn those Nets fans! Jeeves, get me another line of cocaine. Isaiah can I get you anything? Line of coke? Frozen Stoli? Anything?

Thomas: No sir, I had some Valium before got in.

Dolan: Excellent IT, excellent. I want to tell you again how well you are doing with the franchise. That loss to Minnesota on Monday? By only three points? I thought we really competed for 35 of the 48 minutes. Well done.

Scene III

At practice the Knicks seem listless and confused. Thomas gathers them in for a pep talk.

Thomas (exasperated): Guys, we have been over this before. All I can do is coach you, I can't step on the floor with you. I can't teach Steph to share the ball, Jamaal not to take horrible shots, Eddy to stay out of Wendy's, David to shoot a jump shot or Nate to stay in control. All I can do is say positive things to support you and chide the crowd for booing you. But you guys are the team, you need to pull together and play better basketball tonight.

Scene IV

It's thirty minutes to game time. Dolan is talking to the head of security.

Dolan: And another thing. looks like Harvey Araton from the Times is here tonight and he brought his own food. I specifically want everyone eating the same rubber turkey so make sure you confiscate that. Also, Vescey looks smug - he probably has some evil story to write about me. I want him tossed out of the arena.

Scene V

Gus Johnson, sitting courtside with tears streaming down his face: And with 3 and 25 remaining in the first half, the Knicks are down to the Supersonics by the score of 89-34. Kenny what can we make of this Knick team?

Kenny Smith: Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. What? Oh, well yeah the Knicks have a talented roster, they just need to focus on doing the things they know how to do.

Fan Number 1: Hey Marbury, you suck!

Thomas to fan: Shame on you. Steph lost his father 3 months ago and is still very emotionally fragile. (Picks up a bull horn and addresses all fans). You should all be ashamed of yourselves, booing this great franchise. Can you see how hard they are competing? The effort is there. The reason we are currently loosing by 55 points is you fans. If you were cheering instead of booing, Eddy would be 11-12 from the field instead of 0-12. Don't you see that?

Garden security comes in to the stadium en masse and throws out all fans sitting within earshot of the court.

Scene VI

Thomas is up at the podium, explaining the loss.

Thomas: I thought the effort was really there tonight. I'm proud of the guys. The really tried hard out there. The competed. They competed hard for a part of the game. We were just outdone tonight by a few mistakes.

Reporter 1: The team committed 34 turnovers in the second half tonight. Is that really "a few mistakes"?

Thomas: Basketball is a team sport, and when the team comes together, it will be beautiful to watch.

Reporter 2: Isaiah, during timeouts, the players are openly turning their backs on you and putting on their Ipods seemingly to drown you out. Do you feel like you have lost the team?

Head of Garden security moves to throw out the reporter.

Thomas (waving him off): No, no. I'll take the question. See, it's like this. Basketball is about the team coming together in adverse times. When I was a kid growing up on the mean streets, I survived the adversity and it made me a better ballhandler.

Reporter 3 (looking confused): So have you lost the team?

Thomas: What we need is for the world's greatest fans, Knick fans, to get behind this team. To put their hands together, to raise up and to embrace Isaiah Thomas and the Knicks. We play in the greatest city in the world.

Reporter 4: Isaiah, with the Knicks playing so poorly, are you worried about your job?

Thomas: Over lunch with Mr. Dolan, we discussed my job security. I have no issue with that.

Reporter 5: Isaiah, would you like to comment on the article in GQ where Stephon Marbury is quoted as saying he'd like to disembowel you with a sharpened spoon?

Thomas: Steph and I are neighbors. We have a great relationship. Sometimes things are said in the heat of battle. I don't take stock in those things.

Reporter 5: This wasn't the heat of battle. It was his living room. Is it true he has "something" on you so the team can't get rid of him.

Garden spokesman (hustling Thomas from the podium): That's all gentlemen. We will make our number 1 fan, Spike Lee, available in a few minutes.

Scene VII

Dolan and Jeeves are in the executive office. Jeeves puts down the phone and turns to his boss.

Jeeves: I'm sorry sir, but the number of protesters seems to be growing instead of diminishing. The staff says the driveway is blocked with tents sir. Perhaps a hotel?

Dolan: Damn Nets fans. Let's wait 'em out. It's damn cold on my driveway anyway. Get me another line while we wait.

Scene VII

Thomas sits in his car, talking on his cellphone.

Thomas: They wanna buy the popcorn company? For how much? That's million, not thousand right? Perfect. [He hangs up the phone and flashes a smile that lights up the interior of his car] They can take away my pride and my dignity, but they can't take away my money.

He drives off.

Fade to Black.

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