- Carlton Suede is about to dunk the ball. Without an ounce of grace — his mutt of a mother used to call him “our clubfooted son” — he is rising through the lower ether. Above the marshmallow-thick white soles, higher than the tense, ribbed socks, surpassing even the shiny mesh culottes of his despairing opponents. His paws try to swallow the rock. Suede’s knee is leading out. He is Washington Crossing the Air Up There. PLOINK. Suede smashes the ball into the rim. He is falling. Charles Barkley, against all odds, makes a joke about Brueghel. The ball is deflating and crossing half court. Suede is still falling. His coach is face deep in his hands. Halftime.
- “You just can’t get to the basket like that.” Chip ‘Mark’ Wilson is mad as hell at the junkball he is seeing on the court. A team of gangly straw dogsfrom Kansas or Kentucky or Iowa has just failed their tenth or twentieth attempt to get fouled shooting threes.“That’s the problem with these peach-basket boys. It’s all about getting the whistle, drawing the charge, boondoggling coaches into being technical-ed out of the game. You can’t play a game with just rules …” Chip knows that he’s messed up. He’s just set off a debate about whether or not games are merely the set of rules which govern them. The superabundance of athleticism, the virtuous cycle of sport meaning and dunks, stat-line historicity. This always happens with these guys. The network is gonna be pissed.
- Brad tears at Daranthony’s tight little “padded arm sleeves.” The two big men – titanic centers bearing their small-town teams’ huge hopes on their deformed traps – have been prodding each other all game long. Smack talk, fast elbows, the occasional “flat tire.” It was brutal and juvenile but there was a legendary urbanity to the whole affair. Now, the two 7-foot goliaths are entangled in each other’s extended mass. Daranthony sinks his teeth into a stray limb of Brad’s. Both coaches are hopping mad. The referees are distracted by the court-side antics of some “ball girls. Brad produces a crowbar and spears Daranthony. Squealing in pain, D reaches a steel chair, just evacuated by one of those special managers who double as injured/disabled/dorky team mascots. He begins swinging it in wild circles. THUD. Brad crumples to the floor. Daranthony takes off and we see him running through the parking lot, then open plains, then the desert. Meanwhile, a flagrant one is called on Brad. The refs really blew it.