Monday, January 14, 2008

Birth Of A Division Part 1: Brigands

Int. Day. House of Commons
The heat is sweltering inside the NBA House of Commons. It's always hot here, as the HOT HOT HOT NBA action creates a greenhouse effect of devastating proportions. Inside, the central air unit has been shut off, as the House is not used during the season. But for the members of the secret coalition forming inside the chamber however, things are only beginning to warm up. Rumors have been swirling that certain members of the Association are unhappy with the current alignment, and are making plans for a separation from the current divisional structure.

Mike Dunleavy, Jr.: Good God, man! Could it be any hotter?

Rudy Gay: You Midwestern chaps aren't made for this sort of climate, we know Michael, but please! We have important business to discuss!

Darko: I am to have similar feelings, white-cub. I also do not enjoy such blazes.

Crash: Arrr, mateys! We don't have time for such jibberjabbering if we want to settle the issue at hand before night! Me and my crew must be setting sail for the Carolinas directly if we're to avoid attention!

Chris Paul: Well, we might as well get started then. So you all know why we're here.

Chris Kaman: I don't.

Chris Paul: Yes, you do Chris. You and Brand are here for the same reasons we all are. Isn't that right, Elton?

(Brand stands silent in the corner, his arms crossed, leaning on his crutch.)

Chris Paul: Fine. Don't say anything. But you wouldn't have come all this way if you didn't feel the same way. It's time for a change. We've all been screwed over by the establishment. Each of us has a reason for a change. We've been denied what's rightfully ours. A fighting chance.

Crash: Arrr! We have a fightin' chance! Why, just recently we downed the Dread Pirate Boston! We toppled the land-lovers from yonder mountain fair!

Chris Paul: And you're still 8 games back of the division. Who's going to stop Big Baby Jesus, huh Crash? Who, your tall friend there?

Okafor 9000: The CP individual is correct, Gerald. I am neither designed nor programmed to combat a creature/demi-God of his size.

Crash: Ah, shut up, you damnable bucket of bolts! You'll not be speakin' for the heart of the fair ship Bobcats!

Chris Paul: Let's say you get past the Magic, by some grace of God. You've still got Zero and those damn Bullets to deal with!

(David West whispers something to Paul)

Chris Paul: Okay, I'm told they're being called "Wizards" now. There's some confusion on the series of tubes. We'll get back to it later. The point is that with the Magic, the Wiz, and the Heat, you're going to be dealing with Caron Butler, Dwight Howard, and Dwayne Wade forever. You think you're ever going to get noticed? We used to live there, you know.

(Crash mumbles, takes a swig of his rum and sits)

Rudy Gay: Mr. Paul. I hate to be rude, but as we are division rivals and I really don't feel comfortable cavorting with you. Especially given your recent success.

CP3: I understand, Mr. Gay. But we two are in the same boat. We both play in small-market, poor Southern markets. But what's worse, we play in the same division as those three lollipop gangs in the Lonestar State. We're having one of the best years in the history of our franchise! Yet we get nothing. Why? Because we're in the Texas division. Let Phoenix have 'em! We're tired of Dallas, Houston, San Antonio.

RG: Oh, how we loathe the Texas three.

CP3: We understand! We can do better! Why should we be stuck with them? Southwest Division indeed. Is there anything Southwestern about us? At al?

Darko: My hair stylist is from Flagstaff.

CP3: That's....nice, Darko. Think of it, Rudy. A world without the long-nosed Argentinian always butting his head where it doesn't belong. A world without German oppression! A world where the Dynasty doesn't hang over us like a 7' tall shadow of doom! We can be free!

Jamal Tinsley: Yes!

Chris Kaman: What's he doing here? He'll tell everyone!

Okafor 9000: That is correct, he's shown little talent for controlling his impulses.

Dunleavy: Well, my good men, he's my compatriot. And so, you shall have to afford him the same courtesies you extend me.

Chris Kaman (raises to his feet): We've heard enough. If you pansies want to defect, that's fine. But we've...

CP3: Constantly lived in the shadow of the purple and gold empire? Watched helplessly as the Bryant stormed all over the town you're supposed to share? Endured free-agent signing after free-agent signing?

Chris Kaman: Look, we've had some injury issues, but...

CP3: You've had a curse hanging over you. And the rest of your division won't be getting any weaker. You've got that lunatic Captain Jack

Crash (stands, pulls cardboard sword from belt): Ye won't be saying a bad word about Captain Jack so long as I'm here!

Okafor 9000: Remain calm, Mr. Wallace. Lunatic is a perfectly acceptable description of Mr. Jackson. I'm sure he meant no harm to his name.

CP3: No, but he means harm to you! You have to stand up for yourselves! You have to fight!

Dunleavy: Here here!

Tinsley: Right on!

(David West holds up a sign that simply says "w00t!")

(Wallace nods.)

(Gay nods)

(Darko plays with a butterfly he's found)

(CP3 stares at Brand)

Chris Paul: Well, Elton? What say you?

(Brand slowly rises, the air wooshing behind him as he stands)

Elton Brand: Very well. Independence it is. But be warned. Stern won't take this lying down. Neither will the Boston triumvirate, nor Popovich and his men. We must be ready for the firmest resistance.

(Nods all around.)

Brand: Very well then, Mr. Paul. What's our next move?

CP3: We must state our intentions. We must formalize what we are doing and why. We must explain why we are forming a new division, and for what purpose. It must be concise, but express the will of the small-market to survive without sacrificing it's soul. We must form a committee.

Brand: But who will write it?

CP3: I hereby nominate Elton Brand and David West to draft the Declaration of Independent Realignment!

(David West turns in shock to CP3)

CP3: All in favor?

(A chorus of ayes, including Kaman)

CP3: Opposed?

Brand: Now wait a minute!

CP3 (bangs the gavel): Done! We'll meet back in one week to review your work, gentlemen. Until then, all of you, keep your heads low, and good luck to us!

All: Good luck!

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