In the past couple of weeks, I have been absorbed in the NBA playoffs, particularly the glorious, improbable playoff run by my Atlanta Hawks.
One thing that’s been different about these playoffs than in past years – other than the Hawks’ inclusion – is the injury bug that has struck the NBA’s best players. There have been 10 All-Stars who missed some playoff games, or the entirety of the postseason, due to injury. In the Hawks-Bucks series, for example, the Milwaukee Bucks were missing two-time MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo (I had to copy and paste) and the Hawks were without Trae Young (not an All-Star, which is a travesty) for parts of the series.
Seeing as how the NBA finals will undoubtedly be short-handed due to this odd injury bug phenomenon, I am once again stepping up to the plate and offering my services.
I’m going to be honest with you. I’m the greatest basketball player that ever lived.
Well, actually, that’s a lie. But I think that my unique combination of limited basketball skills, limited physical skills and unlimited charisma is exactly what the NBA is looking for to put the “sket” back into basketball for the remainder of the playoffs.
To the coaches and GMs looking for a replacement superstar for the NBA finals, please consider my hoops accomplishments:
♦ I hold the all-time record at my high school for free throw percentage (100%) on the junior varsity, set during my sophomore year (2 of 2).
♦ I led the entire church league in assists per game (2.0) before being unfairly banned for life for “excessive cursing.”
♦ During my legendary high school career, I averaged 0.04 points per game, with a career high of 4 points (which I matched three times).
♦ During my senior year, I was carried off the court by crazed fans after hitting a 6-foot buzzer-beater to clinch an 85-44 victory.
♦ I once hit 11 of 25 free throws, in practice.
♦ The fans already have a catchy chant for me, cultivated during my legendary high school hoops career: “Put Len In!,” which my former coach (who also happened to be my father) ignored almost always.
I’m not the type of player you can stereotype as a “pure shooter” or a “playmaker” or a “rebounding machine” or “good” or “mediocre.” I defy stereotypes.
I’m not that strong a shooter, although I am deadly from 2 to 3 feet away from the basket when uncontested and nobody’s talking. I’ve never considered myself fast, but a former coach (yes, my father), once said that I was “as slow as a caveman.” I have no idea what that means, but I’m going to assume that cavemen were extremely quick (having to run from dinosaurs and all).
I’m not much for defense. I find it tiring. On occasion, though, I have been known to steal a pass when it hits me directly in the chest area.
I am a ball-handling wizard, recently mastering the between-the-legs dribble after numerous hospitalizations.
In terms of rebounding, I try to avoid it.
I am 5’9, over 50 years old, overweight, and in horrible physical condition, although I hustle like a madman when not gasping for air.
What I may lack in youth, shooting ability, speed, defensive effort, ball-handling, rebounding skills, and physical prowess, I make up for with loads and loads of court savvy. My specialty is taking charges and diving recklessly for loose balls.
Simply put, I will be a fan favorite.
With that Lebron James guy eliminated from the playoffs, I am prepared to take the reins as the NBA’s marquee player in terms of stellar, crowd-pleasing play, marketing opportunities, goofy antics and trick shots.
Best of all, I won’t take any pay for being your newest NBA superstar. I will play for free, only asking that all my expenses are paid for, a defibrillator be on hand at all times, and the adulation of millions.
I promise you this: You’ll certainly get what you pay for with me.