Michael Jordan’s comeback inspires comeback fever throughout the Sports World. Nolan Ryan, Jeff Ruland, and Deion Sanders report to their former teams. All are given a plane ticket home when they fail their physicals.
First NBC televised game. Tipoff, 12:05. At 12:07, Bill Walton utters his first inappropriate superlative. At 12:12 he belittles Steve “Snapper” Jones, who, to the delight of the viewing audience, slowly and brutally murders Walton.
Teams scramble to adapt to the new rules that allow zone defenses in an attempt to stop Shaquille O’Neal. He nicknames himself the “Big Houston,” after the largest U.S. metropolitan area without zoning regulations.
Disgruntled, underachieving, felonious free-agent acquisition Derrick Coleman calls a press conference after the defending Eastern Champions lose to Orlando. He calls Larry Brown “a lazy jerk in a cheap suit.”
Rabid Knicks fan Spike Lee teams with Oliver Stone on Comeback, the trials and tribulations of the greatest mob-controlled athlete to ever hit the hardwood.
Shaquille O’Neal declares that he would now like to be known as “The Big Conspiracy.”
Taking a cue from Allen Iverson and Barry Bonds, Shawn Kemp holds a news conference to address his weight problem with his children on his lap. Unfortunately, his lap only seats 40; some tears ensue.
After Michael Jordan hits a last-second jumper, Coach Doug Collins tearfully proclaims, “Michael Jordan has the heart of a champion!” A few cynical newspaper columnists point out that Jordan’s last-second shot narrowed the margin of defeat from 20 to 18.
Joe Namath announces a comeback, as does one of his knees. The other knee announces it is “weighing various options.”
In what can be only described as a public relations gaffe, the league celebrates Pearl Harbor Day with a long-range shooting contest.
Jason “Clear Eyes” Williams, Jon “Xcitable” Barry, and John “Dime Bag” Stockton release a rap album under the sobriquet “Vanilla Kidz.” The album incites furor from church groups in the state of Utah.
Scott Baio announces his intentions to stage a “grand and elaborate comeback.” To what he doesn’t make clear.
Anthony Mason, in town to play the Jazz, spends a night in a Salt Lake City jail, accused of “lewd conduct with a croissant.”
Aged veteran Patrick Ewing falls and breaks a hip.
Akira, a former Japanese league superstar, signs with the Seattle Supersonics. A flashy, unshaven player, he is known throughout the country by his first name only. Upon investigation, an intrepid reporter learns that he is in fact Bobby Hurley in a wig and short pants.
Isiah Thomas kicks off the New Year by signing his unborn child to a lengthy contract with the Indiana Pacers, making Lil’ Isiah the first hoopster to go from ultrasound to NBA.
Not to be outdone, Pat Riley unveils his project to create clones from his enormous collection of skin and hair samples from NBA greats like Magic, Kareem, Jordan, and Bird. Riley’s offices are raided and authorities find James Worthy tied to a chair.
Derrick Coleman chides his teammates for not hustling. When showed game tape that demonstrates hustle, he chides them for not winning. When showed the standings, he chides them for not thanking him.
Stephon Marbury endears himself to a tiny segment of the Phoenix populace by suggesting, after a difficult loss during which he was booed, that he plans to spend the off-season poisoning the city’s water supply.
Rickey Henderson announces a comeback. When it is pointed out that he is still on the San Diego Padres’ payroll, he promptly announces his retirement.
Rickey Henderson announces a comeback.
Allen Iverson’s mom, joined by the mothers of Shaq and Kobe, release controversial rap album called “Word to Your Mutha’s Mutha.”
Artis Gilmore announces a comeback, and actually comes back, for San Antonio. He powers his way to 45 points in 18 minutes of action against the Wizards one cold night in Washington DC. After the game, David Robinson announces his retirement.
Cleveland’s oft-injured Zydrunas Ilgauskas schedules a rare foot transplant from a former NBA star. The surgery is cancelled when Ralph Sampson demands to be paid in cash, up front.
Reggie Miller exposed as modern-day “Nosferatu.” Opponents take to wearing crucifixes and garlic necklaces.
Patrick Ewing falls; breaks other hip. New York Post weighs in with the headline “2 HIP 2 QUIT?”
In a moment of sublime self-awareness Shaq nicknames self “Big Doofus.”
Magic Johnson announces that in lieu of a comeback, he is making available all the episodes of his talk show in a DVD boxed set. In the financial markets, DVD futures, box futures, and set futures, plummet.
Max Schmelling announces a comeback, to fight Leon Spinks, who also, through an interpreter, announces a comeback.
In a move that surprises absolutely no one, Bob Costas, Marv Albert, and Chick Hearn drop a rap album called “Three Dope MCs.”
Jerry Stackhouse records his first assist of the season. After the basket, play is stopped so the ball can be presented to Mr. Stackhouse in a short, informal ceremony.
ESPN’s Dr. Jack Ramsey, after predicting that the Chicago Bulls reach the playoffs, is shamed into revealing that his doctorate is, in fact, in dentistry.
China’s ambassador to the UN asks Knicks coach Jeff Van Gundy “Why does your Marcus Camby player have ‘Chicken Wrapped in Tinfoil’ tattooed on his shoulder?” Marcus responds by getting the symbol for “Spicy Goodness” tattooed on his neck.
Connie Chung asks Derrick Coleman, “Did you lack hustle? Did you squander your talents? Did the ficus plant really need watering?”
Riley’s Heat bounced out of the playoffs by the Knicks. Again. In tears during post-game press conference, Riley refers to Knick coach and former Riley assistant Jeff Van Gundy as an “early self-cloning experiment gone horribly awry.”
NBA Finals: Los Angeles Lakers vs. Orlando. No one watches. No one cares.
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