Evan Turner smiled at the little girl who was the next in line to get his autograph. “Hi little lady. What’s your name?” Evan asked.
“Sammy!” The girl announced proudly.
Evan prepared his pen to write the customary “To Sammy, -Evan Turner” on the glossy poster of his own face, but before the sharpie could touch the poster, he was interrupted.
“Wait! Can I get a special message?” Sammy asked.
Evan leaned forward so he could hear the girl’s high-pitched voice better. “Sure. What do you want me to write?”
“Please write, ‘To Sammy, the biggest Sixers fan in the world!’ And then instead of writing your name, write ‘Evan Turner AKA Biggest Draft Bust Ever'” Sammy instructed.
Scowling, Evan couldn’t resist defending himself. “That’s not fair. I’m still in the league and playing a role on a team, right? That mean’s I’m not even a bust, much less the biggest bust ever.”
Sammy shook her head vehemently. “Nope. You’re a bust. If you’re drafted second and you suck, that means you’re a bust.”
Evan resisted the urge to tell one of the nearby security personnel to escort the little girl, who couldn’t be more than seven years old, away from the autograph table. “If you think I’m so horrible, why do you even want my autograph? At a Celtics game, no less?” he asked.
“I want to embarrass and demean you for being so garbage,” Sammy replied. “Can you also put at the end of the message, ‘P.S. I set the Sixers back a decade by being such a huge bust.’?”
“No. I’m not writing that.”
Sammy pouted. “I’m going to start crying if you don’t.”
Evan weighed his options. He could cause a big publicity nightmare by making a little girl cry who only wanted his autograph, or he could debase himself by writing untrue things on a poster.
“Fine,” he sighed, writing the full text that he had been told. He roughly grabbed the poster and stuck it out at the girl, not caring if it got a little creased or crumpled.
“Yay! Yippee!” Sammy yelled. “An autograph from the biggest bust ever!” Others nearby in the line laughed at her antics as Evan put his head in his hands.
“I’m not a bust…” he whispered.