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                Mystery Man

                Throughout the parks of New York, a man can be seen in the middle of the night, honing his basketball skills to perfection. His face could not be seen, but one could see his simple grey jacket, Adidas shorts, and Jordan XX9’s. He was Caucasian and about 6’2. The moment he realized he was being watched, he would leave and somehow disappear. Many people thought it was just a hallucination, so thought nothing of it. No one had ever seen him during the day and no one knew where he lived. All they knew was that he is the best baller ever. This man can make Chris Paul fall, has a better shot than Steph Curry, can rip Kyrie Irving, is more dominant than Kobe Bryant, is a better passer than Steve Nash, has more hops than Blake Griffin, and is more athletic than LeBron James.

                One night, he went to a park and started dribbling. He started off very simple, with a hesie-crossover, but progressed to complicated moves, one of them being a shammgod-behind the back-spin-between the legs pull back. In truth, the ‘complicated moves’ weren’t that complicated, but the difficult part was the speed and flow of the ball. The moves all seemed to be one continuous move and the ball was slow where it should be and then suddenly fast. The sudden change of speed would disorient the defender. One of the most amazing things was that he seemed to be just as good with his left hand as his right hand.

                After that night, he came out during the day. He went to another park, known for the best ballers around. The people here weren’t in the NBA, but played in the D-League for the Knicks. On this day, Carmelo Anthony was there. He sat on a nearby bench and called next game. The current game, to 15, ended in 15-7, with Melo scoring 12 points.

                The man walked onto the court and picked up four of the losers. No one knew who he was, because the D-League players and Melo usually played in indoor courts, so they didn’t know the rumors about the man. Melo wanted to score even more, so Melo guarded the man. The man’s teammates suggested that maybe they should switch, but the man refused. It was Melo’s team’s ball, and Melo took the ball down the court. Melo was doing a crossover, but before it got to his other hand, the man ripped the ball from Melo. He took it down the court and ended it with a jarring windmill-reverse dunk. At this point, they realized that this man was not trash. At the other end of the court, one of the D-League players threw a long pass to one of his teammates. The man, at halfcourt, jumped up and intercepted the ball. The other team was amazed. The basketball was nearly twelve feet off the ground and the guy wasn’t even seven feet tall.

                The man landed and took off with the ball. The only one guarding him was the D-League player who inbounded the ball. The man did a crossover and another crossover. Just hearing that, most people wouldn’t be amazed, but the man did it with impeccable timing. Just as the defender transferred his momentum to the other side, after the first crossover, the man quickly crossed over. The defender tried to readjust his momentum, but it was too late. It was almost like the man could see the momentum in his defender. In the end, the defender was falling down. The last thing the defender saw before he hit the ground was the man doing a pullback crossover and firing a three. Swish!

                The same embarrassed player inbounded the ball, but this time to his teammate who was very close. The man locked down Melo and the other team knew if they tried to pass to Melo, it would end in either a monster dunk or someone getting embarrassed.  The other team moved the ball around the perimeter, being careful not to let the ball get close to the man. Eventually, someone buried a midrange jumper and it was the man’s team’s ball.  One of the man’s teammates took the ball down the court and passed it to the man. The man was at the three point line at this time and Melo was at the free throw line. In two steps, the man covered the distance to his defender and jumped. Melo didn’t know what to do so he backed up. The man seemed to be flying through the air. The man ended with a monster dunk on Melo’s head. After the monster dunk, the man left the court.

                Melo and his D-League buddies at the park had some thoughts about the man. Some of them thought that maybe he was a basketball robot, because no one was that good. Melo told all of his teammates on the Knicks, and soon, the word spread throughout the basketball society. The man was featured on the ESPN magazine. The article was titled ‘Mystery Man. Best Baller Ever?’

                The man never went out in public until two years later. This time, he was wearing the same clothing except he had the Kobe 11’s on. After two hours of basketball, the media found him and bombarded him with an influx of questions. He grabbed his basketball and ran. His athleticism proved handy, because he lost the media and went back into recluse. Ever since that time, he never came out again. After five more years, he was forgotten.

                In Chicago, some kids were outside playing basketball. They had the most major Jordan shoes on and everything they wore had the Jordan Jumpman logo on it. One kid had on Air Jordan 11’s, one had on Air Jordan 6’s, one had on Jordan XXX8’s, and one had on some Jordan 3’s. The kids were all talking smack about how they were the best ballers around. The kids had zero skill, though. They just attempted to shoot three’s. They were running a two on two and every time, someone would shoot a three, miss, and then make an excuse about why they missed. The kids seemed to be more focused on their image than their actual basketball career.  They even talked about how one day, they would become just like Jordan and join the Bulls. The man was watching them from a nearby bench and was disgusted at how they acted like they were all that. The man had moved to Chicago, because in New York, he was too well known by the locals.

                The man decided to teach the kids a lesson. The man went to the local Academy and purchased a pair of no name sneakers. Then, he went to Footlocker and purchased a pair of XXX8’s. He put on the no name sneakers and walked in some mud. He then went to the court and asked if he could play. They looked at his grey hoodie, Adidas shorts, and no name sneakers and then they chuckled. They said sure, but he had to play the leader, Jack, in a one-on-one first. Jack, with the XXX8’s stepped onto the court and the man put on the XXX8’s. He then proceeded to guard Jack. No matter what simple move Jack did, the man pretended to mess up and trip. Jack quickly won, with layups. Once he lost, he switched back into the no name sneakers and started the three on two, with the man on the team with three people. Once the man got the ball, he put on a shammgod and completely juked Jack. Jack was going the other way and the man ended with a step-back fade-away three.

                 Throughout the rest of the game, he continued to embarrass Jack. Once the game was over, the man left with one last comment. “If you want to become like MJ, talking smack, wearing Jordan clothing, and wearing the major Jordans won’t get you there. You have to put in hard work.”

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