… to fight illiteracy! NBA Cares! Just kidding. Nobody cares about kids learning to read when the free agent creme de la creme refuses to commit to a team or even tip its collective two-brimmed hat.
Good news, Double Dribble reader, your intrepid blogger has just returned from a fact finding trip, and I’ve got the scoop on the new home of both LeBron James and Dwyane Wade, and it’s some place Ric Bucher and the ESPN coverage blitzkrieg haven’t even considered.I’ve hinted at it before, so if you’ve paid attention in our podcasts, you probably already know. If not, the next line will give it away. I flew into Charlotte, NC last Thursday night. I went under the pretext of spending time with my aunt and uncle and their fabulous dogs (which was great. Thanks again guys) and brought my wife as cover. But the real reason I went down was to secure a private one on one interview with the majority owner of the Charlotte Bobcats, Michael Jeffery Jordan.
It wasn’t easy. I had to rely on hypnosis more than I’d like. We’re all hoping MJ’s bodyguards wake up soon. The important thing is, Mr. Jordan and I had the following conversation in a private room in his favorite NC club:
JJP: Michael, is it okay if I call you, “Michael?”
MJJ: Whatever, man. Are you going to wake up my bodyguards or not?
JJP: I tried! Look, they should be fine. That coin trick usually lasts for like an hour. Or a week at the most. Anyway, Michael, I heard through my imagination, that you were going to sign Dwyane Wade and LeBron James to minimum NBA contracts and then pay them big time on the back end through shoe contracts and by hooking them up with some of your endorsement brands. How true is that statement?
MJJ: Not at all.
JJP: Why the hell not!? I’ve heard the ESPN talking heads rambling on about how some ownership groups could offer potential free agents bonuses to sign with them by giving them partial ownership of casinos. Surely shoe deals, which these guys already have with Brand Jordan and Nike, couldn’t be any shadier than that!
MJJ: Good point, and don’t call me Shirley.
JJP: Good one, Mike. So here’s how I see it: LeBron plays point forward. Gerald Wallace plays the other forward and can really concentrate on rebounding and defense to an almost Rodmanian level. Don’t let him dye his hair though or he’ll lose his corner jump shot, and you need that. Tyson Chandler and Nazr Mohammed split minutes at center. You can swing LeBron to point center sometimes too if you want to get a faster unit out there. Dwyane Wade plays lead guard. Stephen Jackson plays the other guard. You’ve got Boris Diaw, Tyrus Thomas, Raymond Felton, and Larry Hughes or Flip Murray or DJ Augustine coming off your bench. Whatever coach Larry Brown wants to do will work.
MJJ: So now you want to be GM? I suppose you would have drafted Pau Gasol instead of Kwame Brown, is that it? Brandon Roy instead of Adam Morrison, right? I hate guys like you. Who was your favorite basketball team in the ’90s? I bet I dropped 50 on them and knocked them out of the playoffs. I bet I made you cry, punk.
JJP: You were my favorite basketball team. Check out my tattoo.
MJJ: Hmmpf. Well I still hate you. Also I’ll be calling my lawyers about that copyright infringement.
JJP: Fine. What about signing James and Wade?
MJJ: Hold on. Let me get them on the phone. Victoria, get Dwyane and LeBron on the line. And schedule a meeting with legal over at Brand Jordan.
LBJ: Michael? What is it, man? I’m busy holding up the time of the most powerful men in the business trying to decide the future of the NBA.
MJJ: Shut up, kid. I’m the most powerful man in the NBA. Any decent statistician can tell you that. Punk. Dwyane, you there?
DTW: Yes, sir, Mr. Jordan, sir.
MJJ: Good. Listen, I’ve got some fanboy hypnotist psychopath blogger from doubledribble.wordpress.com in my private room here.
JJP: Hi guys!
MJJ: You shut up too. Anyway, this nutcase has an idea that we’re going to pursue. You two are going to play for me next year. You’ll sign for the veteran’s minimum, and Nike will bump up your shoe money to cover the fifteen mil you leave on the table in Chicago or New York or whatever town you thought you were going to play in.
DTW: Yes, sir, Mr. Jordan, sir.
MJJ: ‘Atta boy, Dwyane!
LBJ: I don’t know, Mike. I gotta think about this. Charlotte is like, cool and all, but I mean, is it the stage I need to become the demigod that I promised the masses I would be?
MJJ: What did you just say? What did he just say? Nutcase blogger, what did he say?
JJP: LeBron said he didn’t think Charlotte was good enough for him.
MJJ: That’s what I thought he said. LeBron turn over your iPhone and look in your email. I am sending you video of me, personally, kicking the holy hell out of every team on your free agent destination list. At the end is me winning the national title for the Tarheels, which by the way propelled me to being the basketball angel of death, feared the world over.
LBJ: But I don’t want to be feared. I want to be loved.
MJJ: “It is better to be feared than loved, if you can’t be both.” Machiavelli. Me, I was both, but you should think about that. Are you in? Are you going to dominate the league? Or are you going to waste your best years watching Kobe and Pau take all your titles?
LBJ: And you’re saying I’ll make all my money back from Nike? Can I get even more money?
MJJ: I’ll have to talk to Phil Knight, but I don’t see why not.
LBJ: Can I think about it?
MJJ: Hell no! Who do you take me for? Mike D’Antoni? I don’t wait for you. I’m Michael Jordan! I’m the reason you can get a hundred million deal from Nike, AND I’m the reason you can get sixteen million a year from the NBA. I’ll wait for you when you start making me money!
PHK: LeBron, this is Phil Knight. Listen, I couldn’t help wiretapping this phone call you and Michael and Dwyane and the psycho blogger were having, and I’ve got something to say here.
MJJ: What’s that, sir?
LBJ: What’s that, sir?
DTW: What’s that, sir?
PHK: Just do it. Oh and Michael, now that I’m officially paying your players, let’s change that team name to something inspiring. I’m thinking the “Air Jordans” and we can put each player in a different shoe for each game. We’ll sell an extra 7 million units from the exposure alone. Then there’s the…
MJJ: Victoria, please end this call.
And there you have it, Double Dribble fan! Completely made up proof that the Charlotte Air Jordans are going to pull the coup of the summer and steal LeBron James and Dwyane Wade from all of the real contenders. It just goes to show you once again that fiction is, if not stranger than reality, at least better than reality.