Nothing ever made it so fun and so normal to be drunk and stupid and reckless as the adventures of a few post-graduate, obnoxious friends did. Phil. Stu. Doug. The weirdly sexual Alan, jockstrap and nakedness along with him.
The Hangover 2 is now playing. I haven’t seen it yet so I can’t spoil anything. But what I can do is look back at the original classic, the first Hangover. Ever wondered if any of the movie’s famous scenes ever took place in the NBA behind closed doors? Wonder no more.
*THESE SCENARIOS ARE FICTITIOUS STORIES BASED ON REAL-LIFE EVENTS*
*** *** ***
Desert. Four guys. Three buddies. One drug dealer. He’s pissing. One phone. One call. One road. One car. No way home…
Tracy, it’s Phil.
Phil…where the hell are you guys? I’m freaking out…
Yeah listen…ahh…we f#$%^& up…the bachelor party. The whole night. Things got outta control and ah…(looks at the sky) we lost Doug. We can’t find Doug.
We are getting married in five hours!
Yeah uh, that’s not gonna happen…
KG is fired up. “Whatchu mean you don’t know? You talkin’ like this is marriage. Ain’t no one getting married! The bouquet wasn’t even thrown.” Rondo stares at the ground and then looks away, adjusts his headband to put the logo up front, upside down (eat it Stern). Facial expression doesn’t change. Stoic. Stubborn. Give me back my Perk!
“I’m talking to you, shorty. We trying to do some things around here. See those banners up there? This ain’t about you. This ain’t about Perk. This ain’t about those weird little games you used to play. We tryin’ to do something, and you are f#$%^& with my money. You f#$%^^ with my rings. My legacy.”
Danny Ainge comes strolling in, slaps Jeff Green on the backside and smirks that lil’ BYU gunslinger look at Rob and Big. Shorty sees him, the point guard in him vanishes. He starts to stand up: “You F@#$%^ it all up! It’s YOU….” Big steps in. “Calm down Shorty. Listen up, we got moves to make. Get it together.”
Shorty keeps playing, but what else is he gonna do? He’s got a whole city behind him, the first time in his life he’s getting love on the hardwood. He was no one’s Valentine back in the day. Back in Louisville, Ricky P basically said, thanks but no thanks Shorty. We got some wild child from Coney Island. Goes by the name of Telfair. Big deal. Sports Illustrated. The next big thing. Beat it kid. At Kentucky, those old timers and bluegrassers checked him out. Up and down. “Shorty’s a nut. He don’t wanna fit in. Wants to do his own thing, be his own coach. Stubborn. Oh, now you declaring for the Draft? Good riddance.” 21 picks later and Shorty’s finally got a home. ‘Till the BYU golden boy came in and screwed it up, sent away his brother. And now the whole world is gonna feel Shorty’s wrath.
“I’mma play, but I’m not doin’ it for you, Big. Not for you.” Big’s head curls. “Not for me? Whatchu mean? This is a team. We go as you go.” Shorty gets up and walks out. Big just watches. “Damn, we lost Shorty.”
*** *** ***
Two friends. One room. One jockstrap. A beard that talks. No Harden. A couple of suits for the wedding…
Listen, I want you to know Doug, I’m a steel trap. Whatever happens tonight, I will never, ever, ever speak a word of it.
(weird look) Ooookaay, Al…I got it. I…
Seriously (eyes locking in, maddening gaze), I don’t care what happens. I don’t care if we kill someone.
You heard me. It’s Sin City. I won’t tell a soooul.
Okay. I got it (nods head)
“Come on in here big fella. Listen up man, you’re my boy. I love you man. The next big center. Purple and gold royalty. That’s gonna be you my man. MY BOY! I just want…” Big Drew is smiling that sheepish smile. He’s a nice cat, can’t help it. He builds toy cars and likes puzzles. He likes attention, likes that girls with halter-tops like L.A. “…Hey man, thanks for that. Untouchable? Means a lot. I feel lighter already. No more injuries. It’s on now baby.”
The exec, shirt a little messy from too much stress, pulls back his hand after being interrupted. He curls it up, places it at his chin. “You listen here big fella. Zen is out. New day. New beginnings. No one’s smoking peace pipes ’round here no more. I make the rules ’round here, big fella. That boy 24. He’s old. He wrinkly. I don’t like him ‘cus he told me my dad was better. Embarassed me. Someone gotta put him in his place.”
“Well, he does have like…”
“Hush, big fella! Zip it. Zip it for a long time. Long time. Your team now. We all just living here. Taking up space. Five rings? Who cares he’s nothing. Old-timer. Like Zen. We in here now, you and me. We goin’ right to the top. You think you can do that? Don’t care what we do. I don’t care if we trade Kobe. Trade that Spaniard. Trade that TV star. Trade ‘em all. It’s a new day so can you zip it? It’s on you.” Big Drew has a wide grin, teeth coming out now. He’s smiling. Can’t wait. No Bart Scott. Just feeling really happy, really feeling himself. They stand up to shake hands. Then the exec with the bristled shirt pulls him in closer, and then even closer. Hug. Big Drew turns his head, taken aback. WTF??? “Hug it up baby. MY BOY! YOU’RE MY BOY!”
*** *** ***
Four friends. One roof. Jager. Sin City. Substances that later became roofies. One toast. No safe way out…
This is good. I’d like to make a toast…to Doug and Tracy, may tonight be…but a minor speed bump in an otherwise very long and healthy marriage. Cheers!
I’D LIKE TA….say something…that I’ve prepared for tonight.
Alright (puts his arm on a shoulder).
Hello. How bout that ride in? I guess that’s why they call it Sin City. Ha Ha Ha. You guys might not know this, but I consider myself a bit of a loner. I tend to think of myself…as a one-man wolf pack.
(Brows tighten and heads twist)
…But when my sister brought Doug home I knew he was one of my own, and my wolf pack, it grew by one. So where there were two of…two of us in the wolf pack, I was a…alone first in the pack and then Doug joined later…
…And then six months ago when Doug introduced me to you guys, I thought wait a second, could it be? And now I know for sure, I just added two more guys to my wolf pack. Four of us wolves, running around in the desert together, in Las Vegas, looking for strippers and cocaine. So tonight…I make a toast (pulls out a knife).
It’s a dark alley, right behind the Big Post Office. Night has descended. Mr. No-Nickname, the dude from UConn? Yeah, he’s out. Like a wolf in real life, when he finally got it, he got hurt. Bye bye. Now it’s just these guys. Two burly mothas and a couple of smalls. Baldie steps up. YMCA All-Star? What he looks like. NBA All-Star? What he plays like. “We getting too old for this. Need a wakeup. Sleep when you die.” His burly brother, the white one, scribbles at his beard. “Big bro knows ’bout winning. All ’bout it….”
“Big bro? Soft bro? Shaky as pudding after one scoop bro? No one hearing that. Back in the Bean, back in the CHI, it was brotherhood. One team. One truce.” The crazy one knows about it. Ask the security guards who kept him alive two years ago on the bench. Ask ‘em.
“…Teammates. No one above the other. We are gonna D up and we are gonna make up and everyone is gonna feel the love.”
They all smile, dapping each other up. It feels good to be down for a common cause. It’s like filming a movie, except no one knows the ending. Who dies? Who survives? Is it a horror flick? No more Larry Hoover, Jail Blazers. No mo’ big bro running s$%^. No mo’ being known for tearing knees up after the whistle.
The smallest one finally speaks up, the one with the famous father. “I’m down. Shake on it.” Hands reach out and clasp. Someone walks by, 6-4 of splashing wet Js. They used to call him the next LeBron. Now they don’t know what’s next for him. What’s that? A truce? They all look at him, beckoning him to come over and join in. He peers back, somewhat shocked like he’s never seen it before. Finally he says, “I’m outtie” and keeps walking. No wonder he should’ve been traded.