Thursday, July 25, 2013

Brooklyn Nets: Alternative History, Vol. II

Posted by Sean Doyle, July 25, 2013
Graphic by Sean & Colin Doyle

December 7, 2010
A date which will live in infamy...

The Nets fall to The Hawks in Atlanta, 116-101, dropping their record to 9-13. It is their fourth straight loss and third consecutive drubbing by double-digits. Shortly following the game, reporters huddled around the locker of starting point guard John Wall.  Wall, the number one pick in the previous June's NBA Draft, appeared despondent, never once lifting his eyes to meet this surly disquisition. The young point guard, his gaze fixed on the rubber-pocked locker room floor, offered only fleeting tones.  It was the same question after all, (EVERY DAMN TIME!!) just dressed in different accents, sometimes smiling, but mostly just leering. It went something like this..."How does it feel to lose your spot in the starting lineup, kid?"

How would you feel, old-blood?

Back beyond the vendor's gate, near the visitor's press room, Coach Cal paced about. After all, he was earning a near record $134,146 dollars per game on his massive five year $55 million contract. Nine wins out of twenty-two would hardly earn him a banner in Bed-Stuy, much less appease the towering Russian himself.  Coach dug five fingers through his burnished mane.  This rare act of slovenliness invited chaos into the highly ordered singularity of pomaded hair, styled by the Coach, and known to all great men as "The Gordon" look. "Fug it all, I don't care," he thought aloud.  Muttering now, "Nine years in Memphis, eight in Massachusetts,...reviving Kentucky Blue for chrissakes!!!  But all the lemmings wanna scribble on is Calipari can't handle the NBA!!  Cal is a college coach!! Well, I've got two words for that shi-!""

Coach Cal side-kicked a stack of used soda cups, sending them a good dozen or so feet across the hall.

Here we go again...

December 8, 2010
It was always the same dream...

Mikhail rolled out of bed.  It was 3:47 in the am.  The great city just beyond was silent, it's unbending roar hushed by the cold black waters of the East River.  The rangy Russian wrapped himself in a Siberian cloth robe and made his way to the private deck adjoining his 2,700 square-foot master suite.  As he wandered past the sliding glass gateway, a familiar digital voice intoned "Good morning Master Prokhorov, it is currently 38 degrees in Manhattan with a slight tailwind from the northwest. Be sure to attire appropriately for this cold setting, sir."  Cold?  Thought Mikhail...Cold??  HA!  Cold is when your spit freezes before it hits the ground!  This is like summertime in Moscow, old boy!

"No man is an island," wrote the great poet John Donne.  And yet, here on Deck 2A-A of his $300 million dollar custom yacht, Mikhail Prokhorov felt very much the island.  His ship, which he dubbed "Koschei" after the deathless antagonist of Slavic mythology, was moored evenly between the twin empires of Brooklyn and Manhattan; one conquered, the other ripe for conquest.  Never the less, here Mikhail now stood, a man apart, with one eye on his past and the other eye disquisitive, peering forever forward.

"And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee."

It was the same dream.  It was always the same dream.  Mikhail sees himself stumbling through the worn back alleys of the Golyanovo District of Moscow, everything topped in a fresh coat of black snow, when he happens upon James Dolan.  The two exchange pleasantries, and then, like gentlemen of old, immediately begin fighting.  It takes little effort to subdue the smaller Dolan, but when he does, Mikhail starts choking the very life from out of him.  I can feel my hands squeezing this little Irish bug, and I'm about to pop his ruddy head right off, when he just up and disappears!  He always just disappears.  It is like I get so very close to victory, and at the last moment...the very last moment... it eludes me...He eludes me.  It's always then that Mikhail wakes up.

The tall Russian gazes towards Manhattan, the last great unconquerable field.  "It eludes me...He eludes me," Prokhorov announces to himself.  "But not forever..."

Photo by Sean Doyle

It's 4:03 am.  A text message comes through.  The tall Russian glances down at his phone.  It is from Hova, and it reads "We need 2 meet. Coach Cal wants to quit."

To be continued...

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