Wednesday, November 28, 2012


It's a bright room.  All glass.  It overlooks Santa Monica Bay. You can see all the way to Palos Verdes, all the way to Malibu.  Pitchers of water on the table, but they have Starbucks.  Each has an assistant with laptop. 

A tall young man stands, three piece Brooks Bros, Florsheims, and straight bow tie.

"Let me open these negotiations.  My name is Mr. Importance, and this is my assistant.   And for the record, the gentleman at the other end of the table needs no introduction.  The once NBA super star Earvin Johnson."

And yes, there's Magic sitting at the end of the polished mahogany table.  Pin stripe suit, championship ring, no tie.  He raises his cup to the man.  He has a  Big Smile.  And why not?  He's Magic Johnson.

Mr. Importance nods, and continues.  "I represent Fox Sport, Incorporated.  This meeting is to determine the new contract between Fox Sports and the Los Angeles Dodgers, for exclusive television rights."

Mr. Importance puts his hands behind his back, and begins to pace. "Let me begin with our offer, which, I must say, is an extremely generous offer from Fox Sports.  Our sharpest legal minds have worked this out so it is unquestionably fair to all sides.  We will offer you...Two and three quarters Billion Dollars for the Television Rights extending out 25 years, starting in the year 2014.  I'm sure you'll agree this is far better than your current contract."

Magic motions to Jeffery, his assistant, who stands.  "This is unfortunate.  Our price is much higher.  We are looking at $9 Billion for 25 years.  Remember,  the Dodgers are the most expensive team in the history of professional sports.  You're not buying the rights to an triple-A team, you know."

Magic nods, sips his coffee, and smiles over at Mr Importance.

"What?" says Mr. Importance.  "Nine Billion?  You got to be kidding  That's outrageous.  Nobody's going to pay that much.   Nine Billion?"

He takes a deep breath and lets it out slowly.  "Look, we're Fox Sports.  We asked you to come by as a courtesy.  This meeting is really a formality.  We have the contract all ready.  Just the amount is left blank."  He reaches for a copy of the contract, and slides it toward Magic.  "Just sign it.  We'll get out of here.  We certainly have other things to do.   This is a,"...he looks around..."a grand-slam deal."  He giggles, and lightly punches the shoulder of his assistant.

He leans down and stares into his assistance's laptop.  He scratches his neck.  "Okay, gentlemen, perhaps a little higher bid will solve this impasse, get this over with quickly.  I'm authorized to go a tad higher.  $3 Billion for 25 years.  We'd certainly like to offer more, but what with the economy, you know.   That's Three Billion, with a 'B.'  We know what the Dodgers are worth, gentlemen, and Three is very reasonable.  On the high end for sure."

"You're not even in the Ball Park." says Magic.  "We know how much we're worth, too."

"Look, Mr Johnson," he says, waving his hand in the air. "Fox has control here.  Where would you be without our Television coverage?" 

 His face is red, an he holds onto the back of his chair.  "After the Dodgers went bankrupt, you thought you'd get a deal, but in your haste to buy them you paid way too much. $2.15 Billion? The Yankees aren't even worth that, and they are a much better team.  Face it, the Dodgers are only a mediocre team."  He shook his head.  "Okay, let's say, in the spirit of honest negotiations, we increase our offer to...$3.5 Billion.  I think that's more than fair.  Come on."

Magic stares back at Mr. Importance.  He folds his hands and smiles.  "We're reasonable people here, Mr Importance.  I've been given the right to negotiate for the other owners. Remember, teams change.  Sure we don't have Loney anymore, but we're the only team in Los Angeles.  You got a deal at $8 Billion."

"Eight?" says Mr. Importance.  He shouts, "We're the ones putting up the money."  He blinks, then says, "$4 billion, and we're done.  It's the best deal you're ever going to get.  Four and it's a deal. You'd be insane not to take it.  And, a warning, you won't get a penny more.  From us or anybody."

Jeffrey raises his hand. "The money we're asking will be used to purchase quality young players.  That is paramount.  That will help us both."

"Please," says Mr. Importance.  "You'll simply become the Yankees of the West.  We both know when payroll increases, ticket prices also go up.  You'll do what the Lakers did and shut out the every day fan.  The Dodgers will become irrelevant.  You'll never get an offer like $4 Billion ever again."

"No, no, no," says Magic.  "I think you'll pay our price.  Fox wants to monopolize sports on Cable Television, leaving fewer games on free TV.  Live sports broadcasts are the last place where the viewer can't just pre-tape the show and cut out the commercials.  You know you'll make it back.  $8 Billion, my friend." 

"You think we're a lousy team?" says Jeffery.  "Shows how much you know.  We dealt with a lot of injuries with Kemp, Bills, Lilly, Jansen, Guerra, Ellis, and Kershaw.  No matter what,  injuries are always a risk.  You have to give the new owners time to put together the team.  The more money you can spend, the better chance you have of getting the best players, better chance of winning."

"25 years is a long time," says Magic. "Who knows what the market will be like in 15 or 20 years--or even 10 years. You know what we're worth.  $8 Billion is cheap."

"This is crazy," says Mr. Importance.  He snaps his fingers, and his assistant tunes the laptop.
"It's right here."  He points at the screen.  "Your current deal, Fox Sports spends $40 million a season.  If we pay your price, it's like over $200 million per season.  Be reasonable."

Magic looks up at Mr. Importance.  "In the next 25 years, and we both know, Los Angeles will become, not only the largest and wealthiest sports city in the world,  but the Dodgers will be worshiped in Asia like they are in Latin America.  Fox is getting off cheap here.  Real cheap."

Mr. Importance folds his arms and looks down at the floor. "If I agree to this, and I'm not saying I will, this will be the most expensive TV deal in the history of professional sports." 

He walks slowly over to the expansive window.  He looks off toward a high school asphalt basketball court.

He stands there quietly.

"How about this, Mr Johnson.  We in essence flip for it.  A game of H.O. R. S. E.  We split the difference.  You win,  it's the $6 billion, and if I come out on top, then we'll go with a flat $4 Billion for the 25 years.  What do you think?  You can still shoot hoops, can't you?"


"But," he says, "I must warn you, Sir.   I played two years Varsity for Princeton."

"But..but..Mr. Importance," say his assistant.  "This is Magic Johnson...?"

"That's Princeton, Sir. Ivy League.  But, if you don't think you're up for it?"

Magic puts his head back and looks at the ceiling.

"I can understand, if you're afraid.  There is a huge amount of money at stake.  You're getting older and well, it's youth that now dictates what happens in this world.  But, I can understand if you don't think you have the...."

"You're on," says Magic.  "I'm not that far away from my MVP year. Why not?"  He looks at Jeffery, and smiles.  "It's only money, right?"

Still looking out the window, "Agreed."  He points. "There. That court down there, at that school.  Twenty minutes, we'll play."  And he turns and strides out, followed by his assistant, arms full of a laptop, forms, yellow legal pads, fumbling with his glasses, one shoe untied.

 Magic drinks the rest of his coffee.  And with a grin, "And I just happen to have a basketball in the trunk of my car." 


Two hours later it's getting dark.  Mr. Importance sits at a Hotel bar.  He gulps down number five and calls for number six, another double.  "Son of a bitch.  A thirty foot bank shot.  The guy's 53, and I'm 26.  Come on.  Princeton Varsity.

He looks at the TV above the bar.  It's a smiling Magic Johnson on SportsCenter. A big grin.  A very big grin, the Son of a Bitch.  A thirty foot bank shot.  Who makes that?  A Two Billion Dollar shot.  Son of a BITCH.

He downs number six, calls for another, and glances at the text on his iPhone.

'We know where you are, Importance.  Don't move.  We're sending a car.  WE NEED TO TALK.'

"Oh boy." he mumbles.  "We need to talk?  TALK?  Two Billion Dollar screw up, they'll want to do a whole lot more than just talk.  OH BOY." 

A deep breath, he salutes the bartender, jumps off the stool, and stumbles out the door.  Then bolts down the sidewalk, a cold wind in his face, last seen fleeing South toward LAX.

Google/Images  -  -  Magic Johnson Wiki

Friday, November 23, 2012


He was a man who had both the skills of a boxer, and a magnificent sense for entertainment.   Flamboyance.  One of the greatest small fighters ever.  Hector Camacho Extravagant.  Hector Camacho Champion.  Hector Camacho Legend.

More than a flash, wild costumes, theater,  Hector had a career record of 79-6-3.  He was indestructible.  He won Super Lightweight, Lightweight and Junior Welterweight World Titles in the 1980s.

He took on the best. Felix Trinidad, Julio Cesar Chavez, Sugar Ray Leonard.  He knocked out Leonard in 1997, ending the former champ's final comeback attempt, knocking him into retirement.

We couldn't wait for his entrance.  A real boxer, it was hard to watch him lose to Oscar De La Hoya.

But it was when he met met Edwin Rosario, Madison Square Garden, HBO.   He was Hector Macho Camacho for the first four rounds, on your feet, yelling, but falling to your knees, holding your breath for five and six. Then the Skill and Savvy of a life time got him the middle rounds.  But Rosario came back. Eleventh and Twelfth.  Sure it was close, but more than guts, it was heart that made the difference.  A split decision, but he was still the World Champ.

Then in Las Vegas, 1992, Julio Cesar Chavez.  Even though he lost in a unanimous decision, it was dressing like Captain America when he entering the arena that everybody remembers. 


He was a man I remember as a kid in New York when my dad got me and my brother into boxing at the Boys Club up in East Harlem.  My dad helped out there training guys to box. That's when we met Hector.  I remember Dad saying, 'You see that kid?  He's going to be a World Champion.'  And he was right, more than one division. 

Hector trained in Jefferson Park, out on East 111th Street.  We always waited for him when he came running around the corner and when he got close we would run with him and try to pass him.  It was all for fun but he was a whole lot faster.  He'd be way ahead and would stop and wait for us to catch up.  Then he'd take off with a big smile.  World Champion waiting for us kids.  Thank God for those wonderful times.


He was a man just sitting in the car.  A Ford Mustang, parked out side the bar like it was supposed to. I talk to the driver while two guys do the deal through the other window.  Way they go down.  But this time, it wasn't right?  They don't have the stuff, or they want more money, or something?  I see them jump back, and they're shooting, so I close my eyes, and I shoot too. I don't ask no questions.  I run to get away.  I never look back.

I've heard the name? Macho Camacho?  Some kind of boxer long time ago, I think.  All I know.  He's just another drug guy to me.  Not the first time I had to shoot some guy.  Shooting's part of what you have to do sometimes. Part of doing this.

They say he's brain dead. Say the bullet entered his jaw and  hit a bunch of arteries in his neck, then sticks in his shoulder. It stopped the blood to his brain.

And, like I thought, they found nine bags of cocaine in the other guy's pocket, and a 10th one open, under the seat. He got killed, outright.  Yeah, we got him, too. 

 He was a Boxing Champion, huh?


HELP COMES FROM: (Comments)  -  Google/Images

Tuesday, November 20, 2012


The Official Story:

Philadelphia 76ers' center Andrew Bynum, confirmed an ESPN report that he injured his left knee Bowling.  Bynum said he didn't remember when it happened, only that he noticed the swelling later. Bynum hasn't played yet for the Sixers in either the preseason or regular season since coming over from the Los Angeles Lakers.  He was already in rehab for a knee problem.

The Real Story:

They sit together on the plane.  Andrew Bynum, and his friend D.J. Player.

"Get away from Philly," says D.J.  "Get some snow.  Skiing.  It'll be fun."

"Good, but I don't know how to ski," says Andrew.  "Guess they'll teach me, right?"

"How tough can it be?  Best athletes in the world play in the NBA."

"Yeah, I guess.  Okay, if you say so.  Won't hurt my knees?  I'm in rehab, you know."

"Forget about it.  You seen on TV how skiing's so smooth.  It's snow.  It's real soft, come on."

They land in Aspen, private motor coach, La Chateau Hotel, bags in the suite, and they're at the Ski Shop.  All hyped.

Bob and Ray watch them enter. 

"I know this guy" says Bob, big smile.

"Yeah, it's Andrew Bynum," says Ray, eyes wide.  "Plays with the 76ers.  He's here to ski?"

"I didn't think they let players...Hello, gentlemen, looking to do some skiing?"

"Set us up," says D.J.  "We're going skiing."

"Do you know what you'" asked Ray.

"Whatever we need, guys, " says Andrew.  "I only got a few days.  Gotta get back for rehab in Philly, so..." 

"Okay," says Ray.  "Where do you want to start?"

Andrew and D.J. scan the shop, blink, look at each other, then back at Bob and Ray.

"Gentleman," says Bob.  "No problem.  You need our Klondike ThreeDogNight Sub Celsius Power Package.

"You get the Iceman Suspension Skis with full sidewalls, full wood core, with a titanium coat, creating a powerful driving ski with an edge that transfers all your power to the snow.  It has a 5mm tip rocker that gives you a real smooth turn. You get Iceman Fire Rocket X200 Ski Boots with the strength to resist twisting. And there's a 60 degree instep retention buckle..."

"We'll take it...we'll take two," says D.J.

"And what about pants, mittens, long underwear...?" says Ray.

"Yup," says Andrew.  "Whatever we need."

After an hour, looking, trying on, too big, that's really ugly, red, no green's better, I like that, it too tight, but yes, finally they're all set up.  D.J. snaps his fingers, Andrew passes his credit card, $6,300.00.

Bob and Ray, shake their heads, muscle the two to the top of the slope, say good luck guys, and slog back.

The two look down the slope.

"Just like on TV.  Nothing to it.  Andrew, go ahead.  GO."

"Okay," says Andrew. 
A shove from D.J., Bynum moves, slides, arms windmilling, picks up speed.

"Yikes," says Andrew.  Then the trees start to jump out, all round him.  "Whoaaaaaaa.  I can't stop.  I can't stooooopppppp."  Thanks to a tall pine tree, and it's collision with Andrew's knee, he is saved from going who knows how far, how many head over heels, and how much more agonizing pain?

Skiers arrives, rescuers arrives, D.J. comes running.  And an hour or so of, lights in his eyes, bandages, snow bunnies pointing, 'Is that Andrew Bynum?',  how many fingers do you see, and pain, Oh Boy.  The pain.

As the sun sets, Andrew sits with his leg up by the main lobby's fireplace.

"What am I gonna tell 'em happened?" says Andrew.  "They don't like us doing stuff like this. Looked real easy, you know."

"I been thinking about that too," says D.J.  "How about this.  We tell them you hurt your leg Bowling. Think they'd go for that?"

"Bowling?  I guess," says Andrew.  "Yeah, I was Bowling.  Screwed up my knee...Bowling, yeah."

"I can fix it.  Lois Lanes up in Allentown'll do it.  Few bucks, get you on their surveillance, so it looks real."

"Damn," says Andrew.  "I won't be playing for a long time now.  But hey, they won't be saying how I'm slow on the court, or how come I don't rebound more."

"You got it made, Andrew.  Big contract, and a real bad knee."

"After the Lakers traded me...I don't know...My knee, it just got worse.  It just keeps hurting..."

D.J. smiles.  "You know it might never get well...and then they won't be trading you, or talking about how you play.  We could really learn how to ski, or maybe wrestling, you know, you'd be good at that...or be an actor like WorldPeace, John Salley, or Kareem."

"An actor," says Andrew.  He stares into the fire. "I wouldn't have to workout all the time...this rehab...them reporters...a new adventure...?  Yeah.  I'd like to maybe get a Harley, too."

And that's the real story behind Bynum's knee problem.  "I twisted it Bowling.  It's true.  Really." 

I twisted it Bowling?  Andrew, my man, come on.  That's a hard one to swallow.  Even for me. 

HELP COME FROM:  -  Google/Images

Saturday, November 17, 2012


I sit at my usual booth back by the kitchen, relaxing, it's Friday, my day off, surfing the web for ideas for my next Blog Post.  And then....

"What the Hell?" I say.  Helena sits next to me, an eye on everyone, on her rounds filling everyone's coffee.  She's good with customers.  That blond hair, those legs, plus she owns the place, the Montana Galley. 

I find it. It's perfect for my Blog Post.  I turn my iPad toward Helena, and show her the headlines.  '50 Cent Accepts Offer To Fight Floyd Mayweather.'   Must be true, it's on the internet, right?
And as I look up,  I say it again, "What the Hell?"  In the next booth.  I whisper, "I know that man. This is crazy."

"What?"  She looks over.  "Yeah. It's Jimmy Chintz, big time Celebrity Agent.   He's a regular." 

I check the internet. "Here...yes...Mayweather is one of his clients."

"Do you think I should open a bar in here?  I got a liquor license."

"What? Sure,"  I say, not listening.  I should be asking Jimmy about this fight with 50 Cent.  Perfect Blog material.  That's when it happened.  (This just gets better.)

Floyd Mayweather walks into the front door.  I'm not kidding. Through the front door.  Jimmy waves and Mayweather walks back and slides into his booth.

Helena moves quickly, is over there pouring them coffee, then comes back.

"But Floyd," says Jimmy, "he's got 50 pounds on you, he could..."

"Whaaaat?" says Mayweather.  "Dude,  50 is a RAPPER,  not a BOXER.  I was raised up from a child boxing, come on." 

"But," says Jimmy, "you're not thinking.  It's a stunt.  Floyd, it's only $5 million."

"And 'til this day I never lost to other trained BOXERS.  What makes you think a RAPPER stands a chance against an undefeated BOXER?  What else am I doing on Dec.14?  Nothin.'"

"We made $20 million against Pacquiao.  What's $5 million.  It's like that celebrity fighting crap.  D-Listers do that, not you."

Mayweather eyes open wide.  "What are you saying, Jimmy."  His voice is loud.  "50 Cent can take me in the ring?"  He looks around the restaurant.  He pounds his knuckles into his palm.

"Floyd, calm down.  I know about the feud between you two, but just walk away."

Floyd smiles.  He has white teeth.   "You've been reading my tweets?  I been tellin' how he's going down."

"Yeah, I saw," says Jimmy.  "This feud.  We'll work it out.  But not for $5 million."

"Feud?" I ask Helena.  I start typing on the iPad, but she elbows me.

"You're not up on this, I guess?" she says.  "Okay, this feud appears to be over a Boxing Venture the pair cooked up called The Money Team Promotions.  That was before Floyd checked himself into prison.  Then 50 Cent changes his mind.  He claims  prison had 'Changed' Mayweather.'  50 Cent then announces he's creating a new promotion company with Manny Pacquiao.  Manny and Mayweather are kinda at odds."

I read off the iPad.  "It's a couple of eccentric billionaire Alki David and Celebrity Boxing Owner Damon Feldman have offered these two $5 million each to square off in a three round boxing match. David says the match will air live on and, two of his websites."

Floyd," says Jimmy.  "This Feldman is the same guy who wanted Drake and Chris Brown to fight after a bar brawl.  $5 million each.  They were both fighting over who loved Rihanna more."

Mayweather pounds his fist on the table again.  "So he's been working out.  So he's a big guy, but Dude, he ain't no boxer.  He needs to be taken down."

"You can't be doing this Floyd."  Jimmy waves his hand in the air.  "'I'm so rich I can have these two monkeys dance for my entertainment.'  That's what they're saying about you."
Floyd is hot.  His hands are fists. "Guy decides to breach our contract, our promotion company?  I should just let him get away with it?"

"About the restaurant," says Helena  "Do you think I should have a bar with food or a nice restaurant with alcohol?'

"What...shshsh...I'm listening to..."  I nod toward the next booth.  Jimmy rubs his head. Floyd's forehead sweats.

"I have competition," says Helena, "from down the block.  Wild Cherry Tree Pub."

"Shshshsh," I say.  "Sweetheart, I'm trying to listen..."

”He was on Twitter," says Floyd.  "He says he needs time to get in shape.  204 lbs."   He thumbs his SmartPhone.  "Here's what he says. "'I hit that boy he will see a white light.'  That's what he said.  Dude, I can't let him say that, no way."

"I'll have to find a bouncer," says Helena, "you know, having so much alcohol...bartenders... Woody, you're not listening."   She punches my knee. 

"Helena...My dear...I'm trying to listen..."

"You're no fun.  Look, he'll never do it."  She looks up at me. "He's too good a fighter, and above such foolishness.  Floyd and 50 Cent, come on.  Is it worthy of your Blog?"

I'm amazed.  She knew about this.  I open my mouth, but there's no sound. 

Helena scootches out.  "Hey Jimmy, Floyd.  You doin' okay?"  They nod, and smile.  She pours more coffee.  She touches Mayweather shoulder, "I've heard about this fight..."

Mayweather leans back in the booth.  "50 cent wants to fight."  There is a loud laugh.  "Thinks he can break his promise.  Says I've changed somehow.  I've got my head on straight, that's what changed."  He apologize for his loud voice.  Then gets out, says he's gotta leave, salutes Helena, and moves toward the front door, a bounce in his step.

"Helena, don't make your Vegas reservations just yet," says Jimmy.  "We might, I say might, do it for $10 million, but for five, no way."  He waves to Floyd as he goes out the door. 

Helena waves too, and slides in with me again, shoulder to shoulder.  She looks into my eyes, and blinks.  She squeezes my arm.  "This ain't Sports. It's a boxer and a rapper feuding over some bull shizzle.  Dance for three rounds, take the dough, and own an orphanage, little kids who truly need the money.  Then move on."

"Neither seems to be the 'move on,' types," I say.  "Nor the 'back down' type."

Jimmy stands, stops and turns to our booth.

"These two billionaire guys, offering $5 million?  'Peasants, Fight for my Amusement.'  These guys are the one's that are sick."

He bows to Helena and me.  "I'm trying to get this craziness out of Floyd's head.  Makes him look like a clown.  It's a no win for him."

And as he leaves,  "No telling what 50 Cent will do."

HELP COMES FROM: - Google/Images  - 

Tuesday, November 13, 2012


Lakers ex-Coach Mike Brown sits next to his agent Jimmy Chintz at the LA Coliseum.  Halftime, USC vs Arizona State.

"Jimmy," says Brown. "Thanks for the tickets, but I can't enjoy this.  I can't relax.  Come on, I just got axed.  It's just not a fun time."

"I had to get you away from basketball.  Out in the open.  We can talk here.  But first, let's get some food."

He pulls two $20 bills from his wallet.  "Kids, get everybody something, hot dogs, whatever."  They stare at him, so he pulls out another $20.  They both smile.

"I'll go too, give you two a chance to talk." says Brown's wife Carolyn . Elijah and Cameron, run ahead of her.

"Five games and I'm out," says Brown. "It was so quick." 

"Lakers management doesn't like losing.  I guess they didn't want things to get out of hand."

"They really didn't give the team a chance to jell.  If this was College basketball it's like me being fired during the 2nd game.  Or an NFL coach getting fired before the end of the 1st game.  Team was coming together.   All I needed was a little more time.  Five seasons with the Cavs, I was the most successful coach they ever had.  Hell, I was Coach of the Year in 2008."

Just before the start of the second half, the announcer is very loud, while the JumboTron shows Brown and Jimmy in full color.  "And in attendance Mike Brown, ladies and gentlemen, former Lakers Coach, fired from the Lakers after a dismal one and four record.  Good Luck Mike."

The crowd turns from the JumboTron, and stare at them. No cheers.  Instead the sound begins to build, like an oncoming freight train. An intense boooo.

Brown looks toward the large screen, and smiles, but the crowd's reaction hit him, high voltage through his body.  He stiffens.

"This seems rather harsh." says Jimmy.

"Bloodthirsty,  you ask me," says Mike.

A yell comes from a few rows back.  "Brown, no defense.  You have to have defense...reason the Lakers are losing..."

"I'm their scapegoat," says Brown. "I'm the one gets blamed for the huge payroll, $100 million plus."

"That's right," says Jimmy.  "Not only that, but Nash only played a game and a half.  Howard is still recovering from back surgery, and Kobe has that injured foot.  He can't even practice."

'It started with a whisper...'  "Sorry," says Brown. "My ringtone.  Hello?...Yes, this is Mike...yes...No, I think I'm going to be busy."

He turns to Jimmy.  "That was a high school coach in Thousand Oaks, asking since I'm now unemployed, could I maybe coach their basketball team?"

They both shake their heads.

"It's not like we're destitute," says Jimmy. "Still under contract. $10 mil over four years."

"Guess I'm not broke.  But come on, this is my professional life here." 

"We'll find something else," says Jimmy.

Another in the crowd.  "He's right, Brown.  Princeton Offense?  What the hell is that?  You go to Princeton for a lawyer, or an accountant, economist, but basketball theory, give me a break...that's the reason you're a loser."

Young kid down in front,  maybe six, looks up from texting.  "The Princeton Offense is an offense that emphasizes constant motion, passing, back-door cuts, picks on and off the ball, and disciplined teamwork.  I'll have to agree. The Lakers are just too old for that constant movement."

"What the hell is this," says Brown.  Then to the crowd, "Can't blame me for Nash, and Kobe, and Howard.  It's not really my fault."

"I don't think that's what this crowd wanted to hear.  Blaming their heroes, Mike."

'It started with a whisp...'  "Hello," says Brown.  "Yes this is...yes..."

 "...our new cable show, Survivor Los Angeles. We start in The Valley as street people, six episodes, through Tarzana, Beverly Hills, Watts Towers, Venice Beach, ride the Metro, and end up at're not doing nothin' now...there'd be some panhandling involved..."

"I think I'm going to be busy..."  He hangs up.  "Damn."

As Brown sits up straight, ready for the second half, a jolt runs down his spine.  He is hit with a rock, or marble, something hard and small, thrown from behind, hitting him in the back of the head.  He freezes. He knows there is blood, but doesn't rub it.

He squeezes Jimmy's arm.  "We have to get out of here.  They're throwing stuff at me."

Jimmy frowns.  "What?  You got hit?"

"I'm not kidding.  Come on."

The JumboTron is still on them.  Everyone watches as they duck down and move down the row.  Fans along the row stiffen. They do not move their knees, pushing back as the two try to move past.  Brown is shoved by one fan, but Jimmy grabs the back of his jacket before he plunges ten rows. 

"Son of a Bitch," says Brown.  Jimmy puts his head in Brown's back and pushes him forward.

The boos intensify.  The crowd angry and red faced, show teeth.  Brown can feel the heat.

They get to the aisle, then move up the cement steps two at a time.  As they run, three large men tail them.  One points, "There's that loser Mike Brown, the Lakers Coach."  Now others take chase.

Brown sees his wife and kids holding footlongs.  He waves. "Meet me at  home.  Gotta run.  I guess I said the wrong thing." 

Panting hard, Brown veers off toward the exit, while Carolyn and the boys simply wave, befuddled.  And they thought LA was a step up from Cleveland.

A chant erupts, 'Mike Brown, Mike Brown, Mike Brown.'  The mob increases. 

They make it to their cars, Mike to his SUV, and Jimmy his red Jaguar Convertible, the crowd now throwing large cups of beer.

Brown, in a panic careens down Figueroa Boulevard, and onto the 110 Harbor Freeway.  But, he hits the wrong onramp.  He's going East on the West bound lanes. Within thirty seconds this woeful lack of bearings alerts the highway patrol.

'It started with a whisp...' "Hello?  Hello?...Yes this is...yes..."

'This is Dancing with the Stars, and we were just that you've got a whole lot of time on your hands...'

"I'm kinda busy right me back...sounds like fun..."

What did he just say?  "My God, I'm losing it." as he see the oncoming traffic.

And the CHP.

"Please, step out of the car." 

After an arrest, a trunk search, an impound, a police escort to Central Lockup at Parker Center, Brown sits in a cell.

And once they realize it's the ex-Lakers Coach, he is charged with resisting arrest, assaulting a police officer, fleeing the jurisdiction, and whatever else pops into the Booking Officer's head. 

All he remembers about the arrest as he sits in the cell is someone saying, "You got some guts showing your face in public, Brown.  Do what you did."

But, and this is the strange part, not a word is heard from him after that.  Mike Brown simply vanishes.

July 5, 2015.  The disappearance of Mike Brown will be solved.  A very unfortunate mix up.  If it wasn't for Carolyn watching an episode of, 'Top 100 Crazy Criminals,'  Mike Brown Ex-Lakers Coach, and Mike Brown, Serial Exhibitionist will never be discovered. 

From the Prison Warden, "Sorry about that.  Guess we mixed up the files.  Honest mistake.  Lots of Mike Browns in the system.  Hard to keep track.  We're real sorry."  He laughs,  "And, trust me, it had nothing to do with me being such a loyal Lakers fan either.  Really."

HELP COMES FROM: Lakers  -  Google/Images  -  Mike Brown Wiki 

Thursday, November 8, 2012


Mark McGwire, the new batting coach for the Los Angeles Dodgers, lands at LAX.  He sits alone, but not for long.  A wisp of acrid smoke and next to him sits a man in a red tuxedo. The man radiates heat, and his big smile shows lots of large white teeth.  He has room in his pants for a long tail.

Together they look out the window, and see a battery of news reporters waiting near the Dodgers' private hanger.

“I told you,” says the Devil.  "It's no different here.  Same as St. Louis."

“I was hoping it wouldn't be like this, again,” says McGwire. “I'm being hounded every place I go.  Damn reporters." 

“It's hell, isn't it.” The Devil giggles, and shakes his head. “Come one, McGwire. You've been through this before.  You're what, 49 years old now?  We figure you got maybe twenty five years more of this.”

“Thanks.”  Mark looks over, his eyes dark. “Don't you have some place better to be?  Other poor souls to torment?  Why are you here, anyway?”

“Part of the deal, McGwire. We get to visit from time to time.  Hey, I didn't twist your arm, back then. You came to me, remember?”

"Excuse me, Mr. McGwire," says a steward.  "Would you like something to take with you?  We have coffee, soda, and juice.  Lots of juice."

"No thank you."

"No juice?"

"No juice. NO JUICE," he says.  He turns to the Devil. "And not a word from you."

"Who is're" asks the steward.  "There's nobody sitting..."  He pats McGwire on the shoulder and moves on. 

“All right already," says McGwire. "I screwed up. But, come on, that was a long time ago.”

“What is this?" says the Devil.  "Do I see tears?  We signed a contract, my friend. I did my part, now you're all sad. You're not going to cry?”

“No tears.” says McGwire.

“Be honest. Was any of this my fault?  Come on.  If you had it to do it all over again, would you stay clean?  No steroids?”

“That's what I thought,” says the Devil. “You'd be surprised how many sign up. Five year of glory; World Records, Batting Titles, Olympic Gold Medals. Then, it's over.  Poof, you drop off the map.  It's too much for me personally to handle.  So, to cut down, I only talk to a chosen few.  Like you, McGwire.”  He looked over at McGwire, and rubs his brow. “I'm thinking, I need a vacation, you know.”

“You don't take vacations, I know that.”  McGwire looked out the window at the reporters again. “Every time, it's always the same.  I see that cold hostility in their eyes whenever they interview me.”

The Devil unfolds a piece of paper and holds it up to the light. “Says right here, 'I want to hit more homers than Maris.'” He pokes it in front of McGwire . “That is your signature, right?” He grins.

McGwire pushes it away, and stares down at his hands.

“You wanted to hit more home runs than Maris.” He neatly folds the paper. “Okay, a tall order, but I made it happen. I was your guy, remember. I was your Savior.”

“Enough,” said McGwire. “That was a long time ago. I took your steroids. But, I've confessed...I've confessed.” He rubs his hands together.

“Confession? What confession?” said the Devil. "'Steroids gave me the opportunity to recover from injuries and get back on the field, resulting in more at-bats but not necessarily adding to my home run count.'  Same thing as saying, 'Crap, you caught me.'"

Marc mumbled, “I could hit home runs. I always could. Without your help.”

“My friend, I'm like a loan shark. You take my money.  And when you don't pay on time we break body parts.  But I like you McGwire.  So we've been pretty easy on you. Come on, who do you think kept you in the major leagues, got you these jobs, kept you employed?"

“Should be 'whom.' Not 'who.'   Whom do you think kept you...”

“Shut up, McGwire.  Smart ass.  Look, you were doing us no good in retirement. I consulted with some of my, how do you say, homies, and we worked out a plan.  You had to start paying us back. Get you back in the public eye. So we got you the gig in St. Louis. You saw the movie Damn Yankees, you knew when you signed up how it was going to end. You're not stupid, McGwire. Hell, didn't you go to USC?”

“I was good back then.” says McGwire, picking at his knee. “The drugs didn't change that. I can hit home runs. The steroids got me back on the diamond faster. Quicker recovery time.”

“You keep telling yourself that. Weak, McGwire, weak."

They look out the window again.

“So I have to go through this every time I see a reporter?”

“Now you're getting it, McGwire,” said the Devil. “You will NEVER be asked again, 'How did it feel when you hit a homer?' or 'My son wants your autograph, he wants to be just like you,' or 'Will you come to my son's school on Good Guy Day?' He laughed. “That's hell.”

They came to a stop.  News vans surround the plane.

"So, and this is kind of ingenious, every time your on the field, every time you're interviewed, every time there's a close up, everybody will think steroids. He was a fake, a phony, a traitor to the game.” He looked over at McGwire . “Hey, you gotta laugh. Come on. It's what I live for.”

“I'll bet,” said McGwire, trying not to look into the Devil's burning eyes. “Don't suppose I could get you my contract.”

“You're kidding, right?   Re-negotiate?  Good one. Might be able to pull that crap with management, but it's me you're talking to. I don't negotiate, if you haven't heard.”

“Worth a try, I guess,” said McGwire . “So...Guess I got keep doing this.” He picks up his bag.

“Hope you're not thinking Hall of Fame.”

McGwire raised his eyebrows. “I was thinking maybe...give it time...I know it'll take time...”

“Give it up. McGwire. Would you vote for a steroid user?”

McGwire took a deep breath. “Probably...not.”

“We made Jose write his book. Stroke of genius. We needed kids to see what drugs could do for them.  Makes them hit home runs. They don't have to spend their lives in the weight room.  Come to Papa.  Sign up, and you're a hero. For a while anyway. I tell them what will happen but they don't listen.  They want to be heroes.  Brilliant!  Our master plan. How do you like it, McGwire?  You like it?”

“So you're never going to let up?  No matter who hires me?”

He closes his eyes.“I ain't got time for this, McGwire. Supposed to be talking right now with Sammy, and later today with Barry.  Guys need to get hassled a little.”  He glances down and thumbs his red BlackBerry.  "Go see Mike Trout.  No, he's too good already, damn it.  I  need somebody batting .240 .250."

The Devil looks over, "Re-negotiate?"  He laughs. "McGwire, you crack me up," He shakes his head. “Ciao babe. Gotta fly."  A flash of teeth, a puff of smoke, and he is gone.

Mark McGwire, the new Dodger Batting Coach, takes a deep breath, and walks off the plane. The reporters are there, pointing their microphones, their tape recorders, looking up with half smiles.  And he sees it in their eyes.

“Mark, how did it feel taking those steroids...”

HELP COMES FROM:,0,1931402.column?track=rss  -  Google Images  -

Sunday, November 4, 2012


It looks like a bowling alley.  Built as a secret Masonic Lodge, it was converted into a Gentleman's Club in the 60's, primarily a cigar lounge.  Today it's the Beverly Hills Gun Club, in the basement of the Beverly Wilshire Hotel.  Gunsmoke's the only smoke there now.

Kobe Bryant, feet apart, aims and fires.  For the rush.  His release valve from the pressures of the NBA.  Blasting the hell out of a paper target does the trick.  He looks forward to the challenge.

Smush Parker, an old teammate pushes through the door, stops, and taps Kobe on the shoulder.

Kobe pulls down his earmuffs.  "Hey, Smush Parker.  What are you doing here?"

"I can't come in and shoot off my gun a few times?  I gotta have your permission?"

"Hey.  Relax.  I haven't seen you for what?...7 years."

Kobe sets out another paper target, a torso and head outline.  He sets his earmuffs, points his Smith & Wesson .44 Magnum, and blasts.  Six shots.  He retrieves the target.  All six shots in the forehead.
"Well," says Smush. "I'm sure you've heard the interview I did for TMZ.  I told them you were a terrible teammate, so I stopped passing you the ball."

"Yeah, I heard," says Kobe, pulling down his earmuffs.  "And you think I was the reason you got traded...back in 2005.  Face it, it was your lack of talent.  You cost me the 2005-06 MVP trophy to Steve Nash."

“You said I was the worst.  I didn't belong in the NBA.  So, you had them replace me with Jordan Farmar in the playoffs.  I was better than him."  He stares at Kobe.

"It wasn't the passing, Smush.  You just weren't that good.  What are you doing now?  You left the NBA.  I heard Iran?"

Smush unzips a bag and pulls out his gun.

"What the hell?"  says Kobe.

Smush hold the gun at arm's length.  "It's a  Pfeifer Zeliska 28mm.  World's biggest hand gun."

"I thought my gun was big."

Smush sets up and shoots.  Two hits out of six.  Smush looks at his target, then glances over at Kobe's target.  His shakes his head. 

"So what have you been doing since you left the NBA," asks Kobe.

"Well after you made them trade me...I played for the Heat, and I was doing good, then I get jumped by this guy in the parking lot...but it's too hot down there, and the bugs, so I got a chance with the Clippers."

He puts on his earmuffs on again, and shoots. Three hits this time. He glares down at the gun, and then sights down the barrel.  He takes a deep breath.  His hands shake.

"Didn't you play with the Nuggets?" asks Kobe.

"So?  I played with the Nuggets...2008."

"You know Smush, there are tons of players who have rings because they were my teammates.  They played as part of the team.  They didn't hog the ball.  You just didn't perform when you were supposed to."

"What he hell?  I performed.  You know that."

 "The Rio Grande Valley Vipers of the NBA Development League.  I think that's where you went next?"

"What, you been stalking me?  I'd still be on the Lakers wasn't for you."  Smush stares over at Kobe.  Sweat forms above his eyebrows.

"Sour grapes, Smush."  Kobe puts on his earmuffs, and pulls off six more.  They all hit chest high.

"It's only because you played with me, you got signed with Guangdong Southern Tigers of the Chinese Basketball Association,  I read about  it."

Smush hold his gun to his side.  He glares at Kobe.  He takes a step toward him. "You know so much about me..."

"You can't blame me for getting dropped by the Tigers," says Kobe.  "Then it's the Russian club Spartak Saint Petersburg."

"So I went to Saint Petersburg.  I stayed a professional."

"Last year?"

"Last year I played in Greece with Iraklis Thessaloniki B.C...So what?  You know, I don't like you, Bryant.  Never did."  He waves his gun in the air.

Kobe moves back. He looks around for security.

"I don't care."  Smush gets very loud.  "I'm traveling around the world.  That against the law?  Petrochimi Bandar Imam of the Iranian Super League, played some in Venezuela, then signed with the Indios de San Francisco of the Dominican Republic."

"Well, I'm real glad you're getting a chance to see the world."

He jams on the earmuffs, and shoots.  He misses the target altogether.  He breathes through his teeth.  His body shakes.

"You didn't fit into our program," says Kobe.  "You know I could have been MVP." 

"I didn't kiss your ass. That's the reason."

He yells,  "You're the one who screwed me," and waves the gun in the air.  Wildly. The Pfeifer Zeliska 28mm goes off.  One. Two. Three times.  Fire.  Smoke.  Explosion.  Like an earthquake, the entire Hotel shakes.

Kobe grabs his leg and goes down, hit high in his thigh.  Kobe's mouth opens but there is no sound.

Blood shoots everywhere.

Smush freezes, ducks down, turns, and bolts for the door.  Up the stairwell, he's out onto Wilshire Boulevard, across the street, past Cartier on the corner and up Rodeo Drive.

But running down the sidewalks of Beverly Hill is a mistake, especially when you hold a large, very large, hand gun.

The police react quickly in Beverly Hills.  Very quickly. Police cars already block the street, their doors open, guns drawn.  "Stop,"  "Drop the gun.  "On your knees."  All at once.  Smush knows there's no way.  "Damn."  He stops and as he raises his hands, another cop tackles him from behind.  His face mashed to the cement, he watches his Pfeifer Zeliska 28mm bounce into the street, and slide into a storm drain, gone.  "Damn."   Kobe's fault.  I hate him.  I hate him.

Six hours later and a $100,000 bond, he sits on a bed at the Beverly Hills Hotel.  ESPN, he watches the news conference from Cedars Sinai Hospital.

 "We were talking basketball, and Smush kinda lost it.  We were at the Gun Club, and well, he shoots me in the leg.  It really hurts, but my uniform will cover the bandages.  I'll be playing tonight.  A little gun shot can't stop me."

And it didn't.  Against the Clippers, Kobe, with a slight limp, scored 29 points, 8 rebounds, 5 blocked shots.

Smush watches the game.  He paces as he watches.  He wants to punch the screen.

Then, after the game:  "We'll just have to see what the doctor says.  Smush, I don't know, probably had a lot of anger issues to overcome.  About pressing charges against him?  Well, he did shoot me in the leg."

As for Smush, he's in the wind.  Last seen late last night, on his stomach, reaching down into a storm drain along Rodeo Drive.  Smush, don't leave town, the Beverly Hills Police would like to talk.

The entire argument can be found:

Smush/WikiPedia,,  Google/Images,