Teammates Kobe Bryant and Klay Thompson play for keeps at an intense Black Mamba All-Stars practice session.
When I woke this morning, I broke into a cold sweat.
It wasn't about the IRS or anything like that. It was worse. The fantasy basketball season was over. Now what?
My Black Mamba All-Stars were easily the best in a crummy division, so we spent much of the regular season in preparation for the playoffs. I went through players like Michael Jordan goes through head coaches. In 66 games, 64 different guys played for me. I made 110 roster moves, 21 more than the rest of the league combined. (Before I drop Kris Humphries after five games again, please slap me, OK?) Me and Waiver Wire became so close, we were Siamese twins.
In the playoffs, the Black Mambas survived a close call in round one. In the championship series, we were heavy underdogs against a bunch of hotshots who finished 18 1/2 games ahead of us in the regular season.
On the 18th and final day, the series came down to total points scored. Incredibly, I trailed by one stinkin' point, 1,653-1,652. Each team had one game left -- Klay Thompson for us, Ramon Sessions for them -- and they were played at the same time.
Hey, think I could make this up?
The Black Mambas went ahead by five points at halftime, but Sessions began to heat up soon. So did I. Will somebody guard that @#$%^&*()_+?!
The pressure was worse than an ACT test. Midway through the third quarter, Thompson drained a jump shot to tie the score. Chants of “Klay! Klay! Klay!” became audible. No, not from the sleepy home crowd in Oakland but from a joyous voice in Orland Park, Ill., nearly 2,000 miles away.
Seconds later, while my cat patiently waited to be fed, Thompson knocked down a pair of free throws. Us 1,669, Them 1,667. Not long after that, Sessions took a seat on the Los Angeles Lakers bench, never to return again. (Mike Brown for Coach of the Year!)
After three weeks of grueling, sometimes torturous competition, the Black Mambas had reached the top of the fantasy basketball world. Not only that, but we did it without namesake Kobe Bryant and Dwight Howard, our first and second draft picks, who picked lousy times to pull up lame. This ranks as the greatest upset since the Golden State Warriors swept the Washington Bullets in the 1975 NBA Finals if I say so myself.
So I'd like to take this opportunity to congratulate the Black Mambas on an astounding comeback and remarkable championship season. Special mention goes to Ty Lawson and Tim Duncan, the only two players who were with us from start to finish.
I'd also like to give a shout-out to unsung heroes Kenneth Faried, Goran Dragic, Spencer Hawes and Bismack Biyombo, who I may actually see play one day.
Anyway, I think I'll feed my cat now . . .