|ESPN.com: Page 2||[Print without images]|
NBA Christmas, July 1, is almost here.
Let's ring in the free-agent season by reading Clement Clarke Moore's famous poem, "'Twas the Night Before Free Agency."
'Twas the night before free agency, when all through the NBA
All the GMs were excited, even the Clippers' Neil Olshey
Cap space had been created with planning and care,
In hopes that King James soon would be there.
The draft picks were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of big contracts danced in their heads.
And Phil Jackson on his ranch, Jeanie Buss on his lap,
Had just settled down for his long offseason's nap.
When then in the front office there arose such a clatter,
I sprang up from my desk to see what was the matter.
Away to the cubicles I flew like a flash,
Preparing my sales pitch and all of our cash.
The moon on the face of the new-hired intern
Made me hope that to college she'd never return.
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But World Wide Wes and the top free agents this year.
Though still missing was James, so lively and strong,
I soon understood that Wes spoke for LeBron.
More rapid than Rondo his contract requests came,
And he whistled, and shouted and demanded teammates by name!
"Now, D-Wade! Now, Chris Bosh! Now, Joe Johnson and Gay!
On, Boozer! On, Nowitzki! On, T-Mac (if he can still play)!
To the top of the standings! To the top of the league!
Now sign away! Sign away! Sign away all!"
As businessmen who prepare for a negotiation to start,
The players and their agents all played their part.
So with their demands, their asking price grew,
And they all went upstairs to Conference Room 2.
And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the ceiling
The prancing and pawing of wheeling and dealing.
As I drew up the offers and was turning around
Down the hallway King James himself came with a bound.
He was wearing sunglasses even though it was night,
And his clothes were all covered with swooshes and "Nike."
A bundle of contracts he had flung on his back
And he took them all out in one giant stack.
His eyes -- how they twinkled! His dimples how merry!
His shoulders were like granite, his jumping quite airy!
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
And his new iPhone 4 was as white as the snow.
An expensive cigar he held into the air,
And he lit it with cash, like a true millionaire.
He had a broad face but no fat on his belly,
Unlike his friend Shaq, a human bowlful of jelly!
He was there with his pal, a right jolly young elf,
The one Braylon punched, in spite of himself!
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head,
Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread.
LeBron spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
And filled out all the paperwork, then turned with a jerk.
And grabbing talcum powder, he started to pose,
And giving a toss, up to the rafters it rose!
He sprang to his phone, to the free agents gave a shout,
And away they all signed (but for a much lower amount).
And I heard him exclaim, as he drove away in his Nav,
"Sorry to waste everyone's time, I'm remaining a Cav!"
DJ Gallo is the founder of SportsPickle.com. His first book, "SportsPickle Presents: The View from the Upper Deck," is available from only the finest bargain book retailers. His next book project will be released soon. You can follow him on Twitter at @DJGalloESPN.
Back to Page 2