Nikola Mirotic was walking through towards the home locker room at the Smoothie King Center when he thought he heard a voice whisper his name urgently. “Pssst! Niko! Niko, over here!”
Stopping in his tracks and looking around, he couldn’t see anybody who would have said his name. He was about to start walking again when he heard the same voice: “Niko, over here! In the women’s bathroom!” Niko looked at the door which had in its center the rounded stick figure wearing a skirt, the universal symbol for a women’s restroom, and could see that the door was slightly ajar. A face was peering out of the darkness.
Nikola knew that he shouldn’t be associating with mysterious men waiting in dark bathrooms, but couldn’t overcome his curiosity, so he walked over to investigate. When he got close enough, the man grabbed him and pulled him into the dark bathroom, and Nikola was sure that he was going to get murdered right then and there.
However, what really happened was that the unseen light switch was flipped on, and Nikola got a real look at who this person was.
“Ryan Anderson? What are you doing here?”
“I’ve got something important to give you before your first home playoff game,” Ryan replied.
Nikola didn’t much care about whatever platitudinous advice the ex-Pelican had to offer. “Don’t you think we should, you know, not be in the women’s bathroom? It’s sort of a compromising situation for me to be in.”
Ryan reached over and locked the door of the single-occupancy room. “I needed somewhere private, and with cameras all over the locker rooms, I wasn’t going to get it anywhere but here. Now listen up.” Ryan went up to the sink and looked into it; Nikola noticed for the first time that there was some kind of package, wrapped in white paper, sitting atop the smooth porcelain. “I got something for you. Open it.”
Hoping that he wasn’t about to detonate a homemade bomb, Nikola undid the tape holding the paper together and began to unwrap. Whatever it was, it was warm and sort of squishy. He removed more and more paper until the contents of the gift were apparent. “How thoughtful of you. A sandwich.”
“Not just any sandwich,” Ryan replied. “A fried shrimp po-boy.”
Nikola set the unwrapped sandwich back down in the sink. “I can’t eat something that heavy before the game,” he said, having noted the large amount of mayonnaise covering the sandwich, not to mention the copious amount of fried shrimp that had already fallen out of the bread. “Thanks though.”
“You don’t understand. I’ve transferred my basketball skills into this po-boy. You have to eat it.”
Nikola furrowed his eyebrows. “Why would I want your basketball skills? Last time I checked, I was way better than you. I’m not going to eat a sandwich that makes me worse, even if I take at face value your dubious claims about the mystical nature of the sandwich.”
“No, Niko, it doesn’t work that way. When you eat this sandwich, my skills get added on to your skills. You become twice the player. My accurate three-point shooting, my midrange game which is underutilized in Houston, my astounding whiteness, all of them get added to your three-point shooting, your midrange game, and your whiteness.”
“Well, I don’t really like seafood either,” Nikola demurred.
“Nonsense, these things are delicious,” Ryan said impatiently, picking up the sandwich and putting it back in Nikola’s hands. “Anyway, I gotta go. The rest of the team still thinks I’m at the hotel, they have no idea I’m here. Just eat it.”
Before Nikola could ask any more questions, Ryan had left the bathroom, leaving Nikola by himself. Shrugging, he sat down on the toilet and began to eat.