Disclaimer: None of what you are about to read is real. The quotes are imagined. The scene is fiction. In these dark times after an inexplicable ending resulted in a loss, may this be an escape. Welcome to an iPacers tale.
INT: THE HOUSE OF BANKERS IN THE PACERS REALM OF LOCKERS
King Victor and The Pacers of the Round Ball gather to discuss the ending of a sudden loss to the Celtics, 112-111, where an errant, foolish pass nearly touched the heavens as the game’s clock wound down and the Celtics of Boston stole the game away.
SIR NATE MCMILLAN, THE KING’S HAND:
We gather here in the city of King Victor of Oladipo, the Pace of Pacedom, the Twice-Traded Now Redeemed, The Future All-Star, The Ruler of the House of Bankers. There are some obvious discussion topics tonight.
Yes, of course. The final play. Bojan, the Croatian Mercenary, what do you have to say for yourself?
THE CROATIAN MERCENARY, holding back tears:
I have failed the Pacers of the Round Ball tonight, my king. I do not have an explanation; it was a foolish mistake.
BORN READY, COURT JESTER LANCE, LORD OF HYPE:
You can say that again.
Hold your tongue, Lord of Hype. You may be the crowd’s favorite, but you are not immune to mistakes. You’d be wise to remember your own turnover that led to a Celtics 3-pointer early in the quarter.
Born Ready pats his chest as if to say “my bad.”
DOMAS THE DOMINATOR, HEIR TO LITHUANIA:
I should have known that pass was coming. I’ll take the blame for that one, Born Ready.
Noble of you, Domas the Dominator, but Lance was too focused on making everyone dance on that occasion when a simple pass would have sufficed. You were not at fault.
Can we get back on topic, please? That final play.
Yes, thank you for getting us back on track, Sir Nate. Bojan, you must learn from your mistakes and take that foul next time. You haven’t missed a free throw in a fortnight. Can you promise me you will learn from this?
THE CROATIAN MERCENARY:
Yes, I will, my king. I promise.
Then that settles—-
A loud bang is heard on the door. An angry mob of reporters and fans has grown impatient as shouting makes it hard to hear anything else in the realm of lockers.
PRINCE MYLES, THE STILL GAINING STRENGTH, THE UNDERUTILIZED, tries to hold back the doors and the crowd with a block out, but the crowd proves too strong and the door topples as they crowd the room with their torches and pitchforks.
OLD MAN WILKINS, MYSTERIOUS KEEPER OF A ROSTER SPOT:
We really should stop expecting Myles to do that on his own.
Sage advice, Old Man Wilkins. I knew there was a reason you were brought on the team by the Creator of Rosters. Shall we ever put our trust in the Pritch Slap.
A small man in the crowd walks up and approaches the Blue and Gold Throne of King Victor.
King Victor, The Croatian Mercenary threw away the game in the final seconds. Will you exile him from the city as the angry crowd demands?
You demand exile? Is that so, my faithful followers?
CROWD, in unison:
You are all fools. If we exiled one of us for a single mistake, there’d be none of us left in the Pacers of the Round Ball. No one left for you to cheer for. Have you not been entertained this season that you want to break us apart already? Do you not see how much we care for one another in success or defeat?
The crowd quiets down.
KING VICTOR, continues:
This may be my city, but this is our team. In times like these, it is important that we stick together, learn from our mistakes, build each other up, not look to point fingers and place blame. The Celtics of Boston hit their first ten shots in this contest and their archers couldn’t miss their targets from long range. We lost by one point to the best team in the all of the Eastern Realm. We will learn what we can from tonight’s defeat and we will live on to fight another game. It is a long journey and one day the playoffs will come.
We will persevere. We will overcome. But we will not exile one of our own.
The crowd cheers, pleased with their leader’s response.
King Victor, one final question. Sir Nate broke a royal decree tonight by removing the Lord of Hype from the game for the final possession. After the Pistons of Detroit were defeated, you made it the law of the land that Born Ready must play every minute of game time in the fourth quarter of a contest played in the House of Bankers, but Sir Nate put in the Croatian Mercenary in the game’s final offensive possessions.
Thank you for reminding me, Seeker of the Truth. SIR NATE, YOU HAVE DISOBEYED A DECREE FROM THE KING OF THIS LAND. THIS IS MY CITY. I WILL HAVE YOUR HEAD!