After taking power strides through the restaurant Vince McMahon arrived at the private booth where David Stern was patiently waiting for him.
“Dave, you Jew bastard, how the hell are ya?”
Standing up David Stern reached out and shook the WWE’s outstretched hand and smiled broadly. “Vinny, you greasy Mick, glad you made it.”
“Anything for you, you know that.”
“Excuse me sir?” said the waitress from the corner of the room “What can I get you to drink.”
“Give me a McManahan with exactly 2.5 icecubes.”
“A Mc what sir? The waitress replied hesitantly
“You heard me! What do I need to explain everything to everybody!”
“Vince, calm down, not everyone can be as intelligent as us.”
Vince collected his thought and took a deep breath. “A McManahan is mostly scotch, with three fingers of steroids, and I need it to be yelled out for at least 10 minutes by the craziest homeless man you can find.”
“I’m not sure we….”
“JUST GO!!!!!” Vince roared and at once the waitress bolted out of the room.
“Jeez, some people you know.”
“Help isn’t what it used to be.”
“Tell me about it. Hey you don’t mind if I bang out a couple of lines while I wait for me drink.” McMahon said as he removed a silver box from his jacket pocket.
“Already have a rolled up hundo waiting for you.” Stern said as he rolled it across the table.
“Good man. So you just give me a few minutes with this and then will get down to brass tax. Oh where are my manners, do you want one?”
“Thought you never ask.” Stern said producing another perfectly rolled up bill from his pocket.
Vince cut the cocaine into several fine lines and divvied them up evenly between the two billionaires.
“Holy shit that’s good blow!” Shouted Stern.
“I call it the Rick Flair. WHOOOOOOOOOOO. Get it?”
From the back room the shrieks of a madmen rang out.
“Sounds like your drinks being prepared.”
“Ooo yea, he’ll toughen that SOB up. Ok David as fun as this has been so far you called me. What can I do for you?”
“I have a problem Vinny. My last great dynasty has just gone down in flames. My champions are as exciting as white bread and a glass of milk. And my only potential sellable personalities are hood niggers. I’ve got no one to sell, no one’s really buying. The college game is becoming much more exciting. I think I’ve painted myself into a corner.”
“Well first thing, your nose is bleeding. Second of all I’m glad you called. Yes I watched the NBA finals, or at least as much as I could handle and I’ve got to say; where the fuck is San Antonio and how can I “GaurenSheed” something? Yes the last great Lakers team is gone and with them the only reason to care. You’re left with fundamentally sound basketball played by either straight laced anti-hero’s in Tim Duncan or actual anti-hero’s with Allen Iverson. Nobody cares about San Antonio, Detroit, New Jersey, Cleveland or Utah. Yes sir you are up shits creek without any paddles. ”
“So what can I do?” Stern pleaded.
“You my friend need a gimmick.”
“Sure. Jordan playing basketball instantly makes the NBA more interesting. Magic Johnson getting AIDS drives interest. Duo’s splitting up is fascinating. But now you need something more, something bigger. Look at the WWE for a second. When our ratings our low we just start hyping a hot new prospect. Someone who’s got all the potential in the world and who will change the game. When people got tired of the whole Patriotic thing we introduced the Undertaker. When people got tired of that we bring in someone like Stone Cold Steve Austin to create controversy. And when those fail we bring in the freaks; either the raw unbridled God’s among men like The Rock, or actual freaks like Yokozuna. People are fickle and it’s essential to always keep them on their toes and never rely on one meal ticket.”
“Well we do have an interesting rookie crop coming up.”
“Ok, ok. Who’s got the first pick of the draft?”
“Don’t know yet. The lottery is tomorrow”
“Ok then, who’d be the first overall pick then?”
“That would probably be LeBron James. He’s the new high school phenom.”
“And where’s he from?”
“Akron, which is about two hours away from Cleveland.”
“Is Cleveland in the lottery?”
“Yea, and the actually have a good shot of landing him.”
“Well are you allowed to rig it just to be sure?”
Both Vince and David burst out laughing and then snorted a few more lines of coke for good measure. Just then Vince’s drink arrived.
“Bout time.” He took a swig. “Whoa,whoa, whoa. This tastes like scotch with a protein supplement. I asked for at the very least Human Growth Hormone or higher. Are you trying to kill me? And I heard the back room that was at most a level 3 wacko. Go back and do it right.” Dejected the waitress sulked back to the kitchen. “Help, you just have to know how to treat ‘em.”
“So what about LeBron joining the Cavs?”
“Yes. The American public is always a sucker for a boy makes good for the home team.”
“And that would be perfect for bringing basketball back to one of the most cursed cities.”
“And that’s exactly why he will never win there.”
“Think about D-baby. The only thing people like more than a local boy bringing a championship home is a good old fashioned heel turn.”
“Holy shit, you just blew my mind. But how do we do it?”
“Well first you need to get in bed with ESPN. With them on your payroll you can generate all the news, positive or negative, because the only press that matters is more press. Then once you get them it’s essential to harp on general non -sensical and mindless drivel that’ll keep interest high.”
“So you allow this LeBran thing to grow and blossom, even give him a few title fights, but just make sure the owner of the Cavs is incompetent and won’t build a consistent winner around him.”
“Dan Gilbert is the only one who drinks more than me.”
“This is just getting too easy. You have to understand it’s essential he never win with his first team. He needs to be a true larger than life personality, so that when he defects people will riot in the streets.”
“How do we do that?”
“I don’t care; maybe his nickname could be like “The Chosen One” or bullshit like that. We just need to string out his inevitable departure for several years. And then once he goes it needs to be big. Titanic big. Maybe something like an hour long special on national television.”
“Ok you had me and then you lost me. No one would watch that.”
“Point taken. I got greedy with that last one. Let’s back up and recap.”
“Best prospect in 10 years is selected by local team. After falling short for several seasons and agonizing the crowds with wasted potential he orchestrates a grand exit and starts winning championships in his new home.”
“No, he doesn’t win right away. The last thing people want to see is instant gratification immediately after a bad decision. There needs to be more conflict. It has to be in the second year or if you get adventurist the third year. That way there can be a humbling effect and possible redemption story.”
“You magnificent bastard this is sensational. Where do you come up with these things?”
With that McMahon’s drink arrived at which he downed it in one gulp. “The best stories are always the ones that seem to unbelievable.” And with that Vince stood up and left the room.
And LeBron finally got his ring. Making him, for the first time in five years, uninteresting.
Congratulations NBA, you’re finally boring again.