Tue 4 Aug 2009
(Raptors’ off-season practice facility. Jose Calderon stands alone in the gym, shooting free throws)
(Chris Bosh walks out from the locker room)
Calderon: (eyes lighting up) My friend Christopher! It is so good to see you again!
Bosh: Hey, Jose. How you doing, man?
Calderon: Oh, very well, thanks you for asking. And how has you summer been?
Bosh: It’s been nice, real relaxing.
Calderon: I am so glad to hear of it. I must say, I have been excited for all summer for our off-season practice sessions. I do so enjoy them. And now that we are both here, what do you say we start? We will play the usual best-of-nine, then…
Bosh: Yeah, Jose, about that…
Calderon: …we can do a jog to Baskin-Robbins for post-practice ice-cream – loser to pay, of course…
Bosh: Hey, Jose?
Calderon: …and, oh! If we have time, perhaps we can go to see an afternoon movie about the talking hamsters! I see the commercial the other day. One of them was wearing funny little goggles. (begins chuckling) It had Jose in tears…
Calderon: Yes, my friend?
Bosh: About these practices – we’ve got to work someone new into the mix.
(Suddenly, the locker room door opens. New Raptor Jarrett Jack comes jogging on to the court)
Jack: Say hey, there, Chris. Ready to get started?
Calderon: Who is this man?
Bosh: Jose, this is Jarrett. He’s a good buddy of mine from back in college.
Jack: Hey, man, good to meet you.
Calderon: (shakes Jack’s hand suspiciously) Hello.
Jack: Alright, give me a second to get loose. (Jack begins running a series of wind sprints)
Calderon: (to Bosh) Christopher, what is going on here?
Bosh: Nothing, little buddy. I just thought that, seeing as how Jarrett is new to the team and all, you wouldn’t mind if he joined in on our games. You know, as a goodwill gesture. Help him get integrated.
Calderon: But…but it is always just Christopher and Jose.
Bosh: Yeah, I know. But I think you’ll really like him. You have a lot in common.
Calderon: Like what?
Bosh: Well, for starters – the whole “stealing a starting job from T.J. Ford” thing.
Calderon: Oh, but that is not such a rare thing.
Bosh: C’mon. Help me out here.
Calderon: (sighs) Okay. I suppose he can join.
Bosh: Thanks, Jose, this means a lot. Hey Jarrett! Come on over here, man, let’s get started.
Jack: (sprinting over) Alright, how are we doing this?
Bosh: We keep things pretty loose in August. Usually, we just play a best-of-nine series, games to eleven. But since there are three of us now, how about games to three, with the loser rotating out?
Jack: Great idea, buddy.
Calderon: (looks sharply over at Jack)
Bosh: Alright, you two start. I’ve got to finish stretching. (Bosh walks off towards the wall)
Jack: (to Calderon) So – you’re the point guard here, huh?
Calderon: That is correct.
Jack: Me, I play point guard too.
Calderon: Is that so?
Jack: Yup. Matter of fact, I was Chris’s point guard back at Georgia Tech.
Calderon: The country?
Jack: The college. Man, we had such great chemistry out there. It was like we knew what each other was thinking at all times. And that’s something you never lose.
Calderon: Let’s just play. (passes ball to Jack) Check ball. You go first.
(Jack dribbles the ball low, staring into Calderon’s eyes. He moves right, then quickly crosses over to his left. Calderon is fooled, and Jack hits an open jumper at the top of the key to go up 1-0)
Jack: Woo! You’re going to need to step up the footwork to keep up, hombre. That’s me at only half-speed.
Calderon: (furrows his brow) Check it.
(Jack passes to Calderon; Calderon quickly bounces the ball back at him)
Jack: And it wasn’t just basketball chemistry we had, neither. I remember we used to play Euchre on the bus on the way to games. Chris and I were always partners. And we always won. Do you play Euchre, Juan?
Calderon: It’s “Jose”. And we play la brisca. I teach it to team. (smugly) And Christopher is always my partner.
Jack: La brisca? Never heard of it. (yells) Hey Chris?
Jack: When do you cut your partner’s ace?
Bosh: Ha. Never, baby.
Jack: You remember “Two Pump Trump”? (to Calderon) That was our name for our Euchre team.
Bosh: Course, man. We were unstoppable.
Jack: Best card game in the world, am I right?
Bosh: You know it.
Jack: (to Calderon) Hmm. Looks like we may have to teach the team a new game. Don’t worry, I’ll show it to you. (backs Calderon down into the post) Just let me know who your partner is going to be.
(Calderon takes a lunge towards the ball; Jack quickly spins around him for an easy lay-up)
Jack: Whoa now! That’s 2-0! You going to give me a game here, Jonas? Check.
(Calderon rockets a chest pass back to Jack)
Jack: Oh yeah. Me and C.B., together again. The one-two punch.
Calderon: Is you going to play, or just chat talk all day?
Jack: We’re like Butch and Sundance, me and him. Like Mike Lowery and Marcus Burnett. Or better yet – like Karl Malone and John Stockton.
Calderon: (fists clenching) What do you try to say?
Jack: Say…maybe you could be, like, our Jeff Hornacek. You know – once B.C. moves you to 2-guard?
Calderon: (face goes bright red) I will show you who is the Jeff Hornacek!
(Calderon steals the ball, winds up, and whips it as hard as he can at Jack, hitting him in the legs)
Jack: Ow! What the hell?
(Bosh stops stretching and quickly runs over)
Bosh: Hey! What’s going on here?
Calderon: This man! He…he is a Jezebel!
Jack: This cat is nuts, man! I’m going to have a huge bruise now!
Calderon: Oh, you have no idea how much crazy Jose can do! (starts towards Jack)
Bosh: (stands in front of Calderon) Whoa, whoa, whoa! Jose, what the heck is wrong with you?
Calderon: Wrong with Jose? I do not trust this one, Christopher. And no should you.
Bosh: Jarrett? Come on – he’s my best friend.
Calderon: But I…(voice getting softer)…I thought Jose was…
Bosh: Aw, Jose. You know you’re my brother. But Jarrett and I – we go way back. To when we were practically kids. You know how it is.
Calderon: I…I guess…
Bosh: Listen, why don’t we call it a day here? Give everybody a chance to calm down.
Jack: Heck of an idea, big guy.
Calderon: (glares menacingly at Jack)
Bosh: That alright, Jose?
Calderon: Okay. But we will still go to see hamster movie tonight, no?
Bosh: Ah. Can’t tonight. Both our folks are in town, so Jarrett and I are taking them out to dinner. You know, a little reunion of the families.
Calderon: Oh. (toes floor with shoe) So I guess I will see you here tomorrow.
Bosh: Actually…we’re heading to Vegas tomorrow for a long weekend with some of our old college buddies. But we’ll be back on Monday, and then we’ll start from scratch. Cool?
Bosh: And tell you what – the ice cream’s on me, all next week. I won’t take no for an answer.
Calderon: (smiles faintly) Thanks you. That will be nice.
Bosh: Cool, baby. We’ll see you Monday then.
Calderon: See you Monday.
Bosh: Ready to roll, Jarrett?
Jack: You bet. (to Calderon) Hasta mañana, amigo.
Calderon: (under breath) Mañana means tomorrow, you stupid…
(Bosh and Jack walk out of the gym)
Calderon: (slowly walks over to the free throw line and drains his first shot) One. (his second shot clangs off the rim) One. Only one.
(Calderon sits down cross-legged on the floor and puts his head in his hands)
(Calderon opens his eyes; he sees a large hand in front of him, holding out the basketball)
(Calderon looks up; Hedo Turkoglu towers above him, smiling)
Calderon: Oh. Hello there. I am Jose.
Calderon: It is nice to meet you too, Hedo. Yes, this is the Raptors gym.
Turkoglu: (looking concerned) GLLUNNNGGHHHH?
Calderon: Oh. (wipes eyes) No, I am fine. Thanks you for asking.
Calderon: Well, I was just shooting some free throws…
Calderon: Why…of course you can join me.
Hedo: GUNGH AGG GRAAARRGGHHH?
Calderon: Are you kidding Jose? I love ice cream! And I know a good place very nearby.
Calderon: Tee hee. I am not sure if they have baklava flavour. But we can ask. (passes ball to Hedo) Here. You go first.
(Hedo drills the ball off the backboard; it banks in)
Hedo: (raises arms excitedly) WARRRRRPPPPP!
Calderon: Very nice, Hedo!
(They high five)
Calderon: Here. You get to go again.
Hedo: (smiles at Calderon)
Calderon: (blushes; Hedo begins bouncing the ball with both hands) So, Hedo – what do you know of this game they call “Yoo-kur”?…