Fan Fiction Fridays: The Dreams of Calderon

Doug Pensinger

"Okay guys, listen up," Rick said. The players, long as gazelles, loped over from the various places they had been shooting free throws or going through rebound drills.

"Jose came to me after practice the other day with an idea, and you know, what the hell do I know about this kind of thing, but I thought it was a good one. I'm sure you've all heard of visualization."

There were some nods. "Anyhow, Jose thought...well, you take it from here Jose."

"Thanks, Coach," the team's new point guard said. He stood up before the assembled players. "Like he said, I talked to Coach, and I said to him, listen, we're a bunch of guys who don't know each other so well, we're trying to figure it out on the fly-I said, why don't we do a group visualization. You know? We all picture the same thing, we build the team. We speed up the process."

"I don't know Coach, sounds a little lame..." ‘Trix started, from the back.

"Guys. This is going to help," Rick said. "Trust each other."

"Sure, coach. Okay." "Okay, yeah."

Jose fixed everyone with a look, impatient at the interruption. He pulled out a folded piece of paper from his gym shorts. "ANYWAY," he said, "I wrote us up a CHAMPIONSHIP visualization".

"Well," Dirk said, a hollow note in his voice, "Let's uh...let's do this, right?"

Jose began to read.

"Tipoff. Game 7, NBA Finals. Miami Heat. Everyone with me?"

There were some nods. "Come on guys," Coach said, again. More emphatic nods.

Jose cleared his throat. "Dalembert wins the tip."

Sammy D chuckled. "That's me!"

"He immediately falls down, wetting himself in terror at the pressure. Jose scoops up the ball and hits a layup."

"...Wait, what?"

Monta laughed. "He got you, big D!"

Jose continues."Calderon gets it up to the big guy, threads the needle, Dirk with the jam!"

"I like it!" the big German said.

"Oh, but there's a spider on the backboard and he just like completely freaks out."

Dirk stands up. "What?"

"Yeah, he has to go out of the game for a while, shook up pretty bad".

"Jose..."

"Jose steals a pass! To Matrix at the rim! Mavs up 6-0!" The players hold their breath. "The breakaway  layup brings back a bunch of deep-seated abandonment issues! ‘Trix must leave the game to call his family, rebuild his emotional center!"

"Right. Sure."

It went on. By the end of the game, Jose had 40 points, 10 assists (to players who invariably needed some kind of medical assistance afterwards) and ,implausibly, three blocks. He was named game MVP, retroactively league MVP, and, apparently received a coveted, little known lifetime achievement award called the "Powerful Cup" which allowed him, in Jose's own words, "to sleep with all your wives". He then becomes President of the United States and cedes the country to Spain.

Silenced reigned.

"Jose...." Dirk said again. "Are you...insane?"

After a long, awkward moment, the players filed out. Carlisle put a hand on Jose's shoulder, shook his head, and followed them.

Jose, alone on the dark basketball court, sighed a deep sigh. "Take care of the ball, Jose," he said to himself. "Don't show off." He picked up a nearby basketball and without looking hit a backwards, half-court hook shot that, falling through the net, bounced perfectly off the stanchion and flew all the way back to him. Then, he went home.

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