Danny Reynolds got into his car and drove quickly towards the gym. It was finally that, three months to the all-important draft, Danny had received permission to work out and bond with the players on his new team, the Houston Spacewalkers.
He prayed that he would make a good first impression on them.
He was determined to get these players to work together and improve.
He’d come up with a plan to shed the ‘Cancer Reynolds’ tag, and he was going to make it work.
Most importantly, he wanted to end the Spacewalkers Championship Curse.
Dan parked his vehicle in the parking lot under the gym, and he quickly hurried inside.
The scene inside couldn’t be any worse.
A group of players were arguing with the deputy GM.
They wanted to be traded.
“Really?” one of them yelled. “You bring us a rookie, inexperienced coach, a certified dressing room cancer, and trade Josh Okongo for a bunch of draft picks?”
“You really think that this team can win anything?”
“Please be calm, guys,” pleaded the deputy GM. “This team had a legitimate future!”
“Legitimate future how? We’re sinking!”
“Yes, but that’s only temporary,” smiled the deputy GM. “In the upcoming drafts, we’ll snag some amazing talent! We’ll soon be winning!”
“Bunch of baloney,” said a guy. “First of all, four kids aren’t helping much. Second, you have two second round picks out of four picks. Second round picks are useless! Third, even if we get some amazing talent, the great Cancer Reynolds is never going to let that talent develop! He’s going to scream and insult them and demoralize them! This team can never win!”
“That’s right! This team can never win!”
“Get us out of here!”
“Trade us to some championship contender like Baltimore, Las Vegas, or Tallahassee!”
Danny Reynolds couldn’t accept the proceedings. He walked into the room.
“Thank you, gentlemen, for your kind inputs,” he said sarcastically, glaring at them all. “Now, I don’t intend on giving any of you experts advice. Also, I feel this team can win. You should really stick around and give this city a chance.”
“The city, we can give a chance. But not you, Reynolds. We can’t deal with you!”
“Do us a favor, and waive (1) Reynolds! We’ll think about playing here!”
The deputy GM had heard enough. He stepped in.
“Okay, gents. I’ve seen enough. I promise you, I’ll have you all traded by the end of this week!”
The group of dissatisfied players left reassured.
“Are you sure, Bob?” asked Dan. “Those are all extremely good players!”
“I’m absolutely certain, Dan,” said Deputy GM Bob Lewis. “A team can survive with no talent, but cannot survive with frustrated players who damage team chemistry!”
He looked Dan in the eye.
“Marcello Rodriguez brought you here for a reason, Dan. I won’t have them disrespect you!”
A week later, the deviant players had been traded for a new set of players and another draft pick. This time, it was another first round draft pick.
Danny Reynolds entered the gym to fins the new players shooting hoops and running drills.
“Guys!” he called. “Everyone come here!”
The players stopped their activities and assembled around Dan.
“Guys!” he boomed. “I’m happy to see everyone. Some of you might be new here. Some of you might have been here for a long time. No matter what, we play for one goal, a championship for this city!”
There were a few murmurs of agreement.
“Now,” Dan continued. “Everyone come forward, state your name, height, position, and home city or country! Introduce yourselves!”
Head Coach Steven Walker smiled approvingly.
The players stepped forward one by one.
“Zaire Roberts! 6’2! Point-guard! I’m from Austin, Texas!”
“Mike McCarter! 6’5! Shooting-guard! I’m from Jacksonville, Florida!”
“Don Ababio! 6’7! Small-forward! I’m from Accra, Ghana!”
“Kurt Solomon! 6’5! Shooting-guard! I’m from Memphis, Tennessee!”
“Kerubo Kimathi! 7’0! Center! I’m from Mombasa, Kenya!”
“Lorenzo Marino! 6’9! Power-forward! I’m from Milan, Italy!”
Dan nodded, satisfied with the activities.
“I’m Danny Reynolds! 6’4! Shooting-guard! I’m from Seattle, Washington!”
“Nice to meet you, Danny!”
“Nice to see you all!” said Dan. “You’ve all come from places afar, all to live your NBA dream! I deeply appreciate and commend the efforts you’ve put to reach this level!”
“Yes, sir! Thank you, sir!”
“As you’re aware,” continued Dan. “This city is cursed! Cursed never to win a championship! Cursed to be a joke forever!”
“Are we going to let that continue? Are we going to be sitting ducks while others take home the championship trophies?”
“Good!” yelled Dan. “We need a will to win, guys! We need hours of grind in this gym! It’s going to be hard! It’s going to test you and push you to your limits! Are you ready for it? Can we do it?”
“Yes sir!” they chorused.
“Then be ready,” smiled Dan. “For glory!”
The team looked at Dan in wonder. “He’s not a cancer, he’s a tough leader!”
Later that evening, Dan visited a local church.
He sat down on a nearby bench and looked up. “Oh Lord,” he said. “I have a request to make.”
“I made a good first impression on my new team, Lord, but there’s a problem.”
A dove fluttered from a window and flew away, flapping its wings hard.
“I can be a leader, motivator, and guide for this team off the court. But on the court, I’m just another player. Hear me, oh Lord, on the court, we need a legitimate commander who can take charge and take control of the team. We need that guy, oh Lord.”
“We can win!”
Dan was never really a religious person. But he knew he needed to pour his soul out to someone.
“Lord Jesus,” he said, tears filling his eyes. “Please, please help me!”
It seemed that the crucified image of Jesus Christ was actually listening to Dan’s every word, reflecting the light in different orbs around the room.
“I just want to send my daughter to college!”
1. Waiving a Player: Waived is a term used to describe when a team wants to release a player before their contract is over. The team still has to pay the player the guaranteed money from the contract but will open up a roster spot to find other players.
Hey guys! I’m sure many of you are curious by now as to what the ages of our characters are! Well, here’s the list!
Danny Reynolds: 36
Kobayashi Ichikawa: 19
Odai Beckham Jr: 19
Lokesh Kumar: 18
Keon Jordan Jr: 18
Well, that settles it! One important conclusion you can make from this is that Kobayashi Ichikawa and Odai Beckham Jr are both eligible for the NBA draft, owing to the fact that they are 19 years old. Keon and Lokesh, well, they’re going to have to wait another year to declare!
Hope that cleared things!
Thanks for reading!