This weekend, the wife and I went on this crazy spiritual retreat on one of the local Indian reservations; it was mind-opening experience to say this least. We did the whole fasting-sweat lodge-peyote vision quest routine and I left the place with a whole new outlook on life. Because of the fractured nature of my reality for the last 48 or so hours, I can’t quite make heads or tells of what really happened and what was just a vision.
Here’s one thing that my mind keeps coming back to. The wife and I were on a hike, and as he crested one of the local “mountains” we spotted a small cabin with a wispy smoke trail coming from its chimney. For some reason that neither of us could understand, we were drawn to this place. After a delicate decent to the cabin’s entry, we drew back the wool blanket that served as a door, and that’s when we saw her. Inside this one room cabin, sat on old woman not unlike the one that helped Homer on his way in the Simpson’s movie.
She invited us both in and offered us some earthy tasting tea. A she spoke to us about the history of the area and her own personal life, I had a look around. And that is when I caught a glimpse of what was, when taken in context, one of the more startling things I’ve ever come across, a tarnished and beaten Walter A. Brown trophy. I had always been under the impression that the sole copy of the original NBA championship trophy was held in Springfield, but I was clearly mistaken. I now believe this one to be the authentic version, and the one at the Hall of Fame to be thecopy. I ever so politely begged the old woman if I could hold it, and I’m glad that she acquiesced because I might have bludgeoned her and stole it had she not.
As I picked the trophy cup off of the shelf, I felt a charge in the air. I rotated the cup in my hands and gently tried to buff the name plates clean. Modern NBA fans like to think of the Lakers or Spurs as dynasty’s, but to see the eight consecutive titles held by the Celtics of yore, I truly gained a new appreciation for the true meaning of the word. That’s when something truly strange happened. The room grew dark and smoky. I turned around thinking something must be wrong with the fireplace, and came face to face with Dr. James Naismith. Truly stunned, I must have seemed like an idiot to this man, but he kindly held out his hand and introduced himself.
“Thank you for releasing me,” he said.
“R-rrr-eleasing you?” I stammered back.
“Yes. Long ago I was placed under a spell that trapped me within that cup that you now hold.”
“I don’t understand, you died long before the NBA was created. How is that possible?”
“Oh, the cup in Springfield, the NBA Championship trophy, was merely modeled on the one in your hands,” he said as he stretched his body and twisted from side to side. “Only a fan of basketball based on the fundamentals of the game I invented held the power to break the enchantment.”
“Well, I guess that’s how I feel,” I responded.
“Clearly. Now since you have done me a favor, I’d like to do the same for you. I can grant you any three wishes pertaining to the game of basketball you choose.”
My mind began spinning a mile-a-minute. Could this be true? What should I ask for? Many possibilities coursed through my neurons: make Kobe a steroid junkie, erase Shaq from the record books, move the Mavs to Omaha, shift Gervin forward through time so that he could play alongside Duncan, give me more than a three-inch vertical leap, make my children b-ball phenoms….In the end I settled on these:
1. Move the Clippers back to San Diego. Not because I care about them as a team, but because it would make it easier for me to see the Spurs play in person more often, and to catch players like Durant when to come to town. Also, if the Clips ever make the Playoffs again, maybe they would face off against the Spurs.
2. Have Tim Duncan opt out of his current contract and sign a new deal for two years at ten million per. I want to see Timmy play as long as possible, but I’d also like for him to be able to win one last title before he retires. No way should he end his career tied with Shaq in that department.
3. Antonio McDyess retires, but not after being traded in a package that nets the Spurs some help getting back to the top of the mountain. Coupling Dyess’s contract this some other assets would help the Spurs get more bang for their buck by giving a team with financial issues a bit of a break.
That’s when the atmosphere in the room shifted again. Everything went blurry and I could hear muffled voices asking if everything was alright. It was of course, but I still felt a bit uneasy.
Had that really happened?
You tell me…