Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Stub 5.3: The Five-point Line

Mick Scerba settled into his recliner to enjoy one of the few vices he allowed himself. He was going to binge-watch basketball. Not just any basketball, but professional basketball.

He had been aghast when the league instituted a bunch of rules that changed the game. They added 10’ to both the width and length of the court. They added a five-point line about five feet out from the three-point line. Finally, they raised the rim from ten feet to eleven-and-a-half feet,above the court.

Two reasons were given. The primary reason was that $50 million/year athletes were injuring each other with unsettling frequency. Too much beef, too close together.

The other reason was that pro ball had become so divorced from high school and even college ball that it was hard to relate to. With the rim raised 18”, dunks in a pro game were only slightly more frequently seen than in high school ball.

The pro teams were struggling to adapt to the changes with varying degrees of success.

Mick certainly needed the distraction. He had blown his top that afternoon when he found out that Shelly had over-night freighted the case of Domo’s Delight to Miami. Of course, she was only doing what he told her to do, but he figured Domo’s friend was in LA, ninety miles to the south...not 2000 miles east. The accountant in him screamed when he saw the $80 bill to ship the $2 of product (his cost at the factory).

He really needed to get his mind off work.

The first game he queued up was the Heat vs. the Pistons. It was the middle of the first quarter when he tuned in and the Pistons were already getting pounded. Miami had too many good, big men and the Pistons couldn’t do anything beneath the basket. The basket might be eighteen inches higher but rebounding is rebounding.

Mick had been hoping to see the Piston’s new guy play but the coach kept him on the bench. The camera scanned the bench and Mick could pick him out but could not put a name on him. Mick figured he looked familiar because he must have seen him play college ball, somewhere.

The score sloshed around with the Pistons trailing anywhere from six points to, at one point, twenty points. Mick was sure the game was safely in the bag for Miami when they were leading by twelve points with just two minutes to go.

And then the Pistons coach put in the new guy.

BAM! He knocked out a five point basket like it was nothing.

The Pistons got the ball back and fed it to him again.

BAM! Another five point basket.

In the course of 15 seconds of clock time the Pistons were only trailing by two.

Then Miami put their best defender on him on the shooter. The defender was all over the shooter but the refs turned a blind eye to the infractions. The crowd was going nuts.

The new kid was working his ass off to shake the defender with limited success.

The other Miami players were also collapsing on the shooter which allowed the Pistons big-guys to stay in the game.

The Pistons would score, tying the game.

Miami would score, pulling ahead by two.

Back-and-forth. Back-and-forth. It looked like it was heading to a Miami win or overtime, depending on who had the last possession.

In the last three seconds of the game the new guy, absolutely drenched with sweat, rolled off the defender and then one of his own forwards. The defender was clutching at the shooter but could not keep a grip on him.

The new guy spun around his forward and was fed the ball.

BAM! Five points.

Pistons win by three.

Damnedest thing Mick had ever seen. That is, it was the damnedest thing he had ever seen until the new guy grabbed a bottle out of his gym bag and guzzled it down in a single go. Slamming it down on the bench, DeLeon Redd said, “Damned thats good” loud enough for the camera to pick up. The camera zoomed in on the bottle and Mick found himself staring at Domo’s enormous smile. It was a bottle of Domo’s Delight EF ORS.

Mick jerked the microphone off his shirt collar, depressed a couple of keys and roared, “Domo. Get your ass up here. You got some explaining to do.”

Next Installment

No comments:

Post a Comment

Readers who are willing to comment make this a better blog. Civil dialog is a valuable thing.