(3) Lewis Scott, Celtic Pride vs. (14) Henry Steele, One on One
We wondered, right up until tip, whether this game would ever tip-off. The arena was dead silent. The few fans that were allowed in off the street weren’t even sure what to do. In Salt Lake City, most of them have never even heard of one-on-one. The only kids who play ball walk around and shoot on the retractable hoops in their backyards. There are no playgrounds, no one is playing for anything. It’s all too nice. No attitude.
So when Lewis Scott showed up a few years ago, some people were scared. He was arrogant. He was cocky. He had a city game. He even talked funny, screeched instead of spoke. But after a while, after winning the organization a title in Boston amongst one of the more unusal stories in NBA history, Scott is a hero. He came home to parades and TV shows. All of the fans started shaving their heads. He was king, the biggest celebrity in town. He had his own soundboard, and all of it spoke of how amazing he was.
But on the way to the gym, two goofy men, dressed in all green and smelling of Jack, surround him at a stop light and before Scott knows what to do, they’re in his car, taping his mouth shut and covering his face with a Boston Celtic duffel bag.
Scott wasn’t the only one who had a problem. His opponent, Henry Steele, nearly didn’t make it out either.
He was playing in a pickup game when some coach showed up, a coach with graying hair flattened on his head, and a leather jacket hanging loosely from his shoulders.
“We are gathered here to watch a game of one-on-one,” he told everyone, stepping out towards center court. “I hope you would pay close attention to it so you could learn something…”
Steele’s shirt was damp with cold sweat, but his face was a blazing red. He knew this coach, and he didn’t like him at all.
“Mr. Steele, you will be a participant,” the middle-aged coach called as he invited a player out from behind him to greet Steele. The man was ripped and his biceps were bigger than Steele’s head.
Almost immediately, he hit Steele with an elbow to the face, breaking his nose.
“I suppose you didn’t see that,” Steele said to the coach.
“Shut up Steele and play ball…”
From there, Steele’s wiry frame was run over, clotheslined and stomped on. By the end of the game, his nose was smashed, his face bruised and his elbows bloodied. He could barely walk, and stumbled as he walked away, mumbling swear words under his breath.
“What you gentlemen have just witnessed is an exhibition of mental warfare,” the coach continued to those still around, “where one player psyches another player right out of the ballgame.”
Steele was used to being bullied, so when it came time to show up for his match with Lewis Scott, he didn’t waver. “I’m not going to let some coach take my spot,” he said as he warmed up. Scott eventually showed up to, and the two of them met at halfcourt, one with blood dripping from his mouth and the other with tape burns all over his face.
Both looked each other over, shook hands and proceeded to beat each other up some more.
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