LOCAL YMCA - “That was an assist!” insisted Nick Spencer as the gratuitous echoes of “PASS” continued to rattle around the YMCA gymnasium, “an assist, I tell ya!”
With his team three points short of victory in a full-court game to 21, Spencer had planted his feet just beyond the baseline and hoisted an absolute prayer from three-point range.
The Shirts 4th round pick, flush with confidence after snatching his second completely uncontested rebound, gathered the gall to let it fly from downtown.
“Sure, his skill-sets were incorporable into our offensive scheme,” stated Connor McDermott, Shirts team captain, “but [Nick] was never mistaken for the centerpiece of our team.”
Spencer secured his spot on the Shirts after the opposing Skins team selected Karl Sherman, the Y’s token octogenarian, with their final pick of the draft, leaving Spencer to stroll callowly over to the Shirts side of the court.
“It had nothing to do with his ability, Nick’s just kind of annoying,” commented Skins captain Ari Davis, “We picked Karl for his reliable presence in the key and because he doesn’t call off-ball fouls on himself.”
Incidentally, Spencer and Mr. Sherman butted heads earlier in the game when Spencer clapped on defense as Mr. Sherman brought the ball over half court.
Mr. Sherman responded by giving Spencer a head shake and a hearty “pff” before lining a textbook chest pass to the first available teammate.
It wasn’t until the winning shot was on the line that Nick Spencer decided to take things into his own hands.
Cowardly cherry-picking on a pivotal defensive stand, Spencer got to the other end of the court full seconds ahead of anyone else. Planting himself at the corner baseline he began shrilly calling “Open! Open!”.
Left with no other choice, his fellow Shirts teammate begrudgingly passed him the rock.
What happened next was the stuff of legend.
Spencer received the pass, checked that his toes were behind the line, uttered “Kobe!”, and leaped into an entirely unnecessary fadeaway.
The shot never had a chance.
Spencer’s ball missed the rim by a foot, grazed the bottom of the net on the way down, and fell, ever so serendipitously, into the waiting hands of Shirts captain Connor McDermott, who, feigning surprise, laid the ball up for two points and hustled back down the court to help the Shirts make yet another defensive stand.
Their efforts were futile as the Skins scored on the subsequent possession, leaving the Shirts to fall one point short of a win.
“It was a pass!” decried Spencer, nodding vigorously, “In that situation, we needed the easy bucket.”
When reached for comment after the post-game high five lines McDermott said, “Yeah, I mean, the ball went from his hands to my hands so I guess you could call it a pass.”
Spencer was seen giving himself a small fist pump as he left the court. While his team may have lost, his ego had gotten away with a win.
“Pff”, asserted Mr. Sherman as he began to unbuckle the braces on both knees.