“Hey Dwight, thanks for coming in today,” Mark Cuban said, welcoming Dwight Powell into his office. “Sit down, we need to talk about next season.”
“Sure,” Dwight said, taking the seat across from Mark. He usually felt relaxed and at ease around the Mavericks GM, but Mark seemed more serious than usual, and that made Dwight nervous.
“As you might know, we made some big acquisitions this summer,” Mark began. “Acquisitions that might have direct effects on you.”
Dwight knew that Mark was talking about DeAndre Jordan, who the Mavericks had signed right at the beginning of free agency. “Yeah, well, as long as I keep getting my minutes, me and DeAndre won’t have a problem,” Dwight replied.
“Yes, well, your skill sets are not exactly complementary,” Mark went on. “I’m afraid that your minutes will see a significant reduction this year. We’re letting you know in case you want us to work out a trade to get you to a different situation.”
This offer caught Dwight off guard; he didn’t know whether to be pleased or insulted. All he knew was that his minutes were not something he was willing to compromise on. Seeing this as the end of the conversation, he stood up, gave Mark a short “Let me think about it,” and left the office with the beginnings of a plan already seeded in his mind.
The kitchen, normally spotless, was in chaos. Varying amounts of different baking ingredients were on the floor and walls. Dwight, ignoring the mess for now, wiped the sweat off his brow and made another attempt to crack an egg into the bowl. This time, he was able to get the yolk into the cake batter without the crumbled remains of the shell following it in.
Dwight vigorously stirred the eggs into the mixture, rewarding himself often for his hard work by taking big licks of the stirring spoon. Finally, the batter was fully mixed into a smooth, chocolatey preparation. Not bad for his first-ever attempt at baking. There was just one more ingredient to add.
With a wry smile, Dwight grabbed the plastic baggie from the counter, opened it, and deposited its contents into the bowl.
Dwight rang the doorbell of the large house, located in a distant Dallas suburb, and waited patiently for the occupant to appear at the door.
“Yo Dwight,” DeAndre greeted when he saw that his new teammate was the one who had come calling. Then, he noticed the treat that Dwight held in his hands and became noticeably more excited. “Hey, you baked a cake for me?”
“Gotta get our relationship off on the right foot,” Dwight said with a put-on smile. “Can I come in?”
“Yeah man, for sure,” DeAndre said. “It’s not all furnished yet, but the living room’s good and I’m sure I got a knife here somewhere to cut that cake with.” Dwight followed him inside and placed the amateurishly-frosted cake down on the coffee table, then sat down on the sofa. After some clattering from the kitchen, DeAndre returned with a table knife and two plates. “This looks great, dude! I love chocolate. Nobody in LA ever baked me a cake.”
Dwight nodded towards the cake. “Go ahead, cut yourself a piece,” he suggested, still with a false air of friendliness that went undetected.
DeAndre eagerly cut out a large piece of the cake and wasted no time in taking a large bite. He chewed happily, but his chewing slowed and his expression became confused as the taste of it hit his tongue. “Yo, this tastes a little…weird,” he said though a full mouth.
“You fell right into my trap, DeAndre!” Dwight proclaimed, standing up from his seat to gloat over his teammate. “So naive you were to believe that I would come to your house with good intentions, that I was only looking to strengthen the bond between teammates…no! I am here to sabotage you, and my plan became a success the very instant that you took your first bite of my tainted cake!”
“You’re not making any sense right now,” DeAndre replied, confused.
“Mark and Rick knew that my minutes would go down. They knew the newcomer would STEAL my minutes,” Dwight said, now talking more to himself than to DeAndre. “I had the most win-shares on the team. Me. Me me me. The most win-shares. And they treat me like dirt. Like dirt, oh yes they did, Mark and Rick. And DEANDRE!” Saying this name snapped Dwight out of his monologue, and he turned back to his teammate. “That’s why I, knowing that your drug test is scheduled for later this afternoon, baked MARIJUANA into the cake! Your Mavericks career is over before it even began!”
For some reason, this proclamation caused DeAndre to start giggling. Enraged, Dwight yelled, “WHY ARE YOU LAUGHING?”
“You think this is weed?” DeAndre snorted, digging apart the cake with his fork and pointing to the green flecks that were in it. “This is oregano, man.”
Dwight had never seen real marijuana before and had assumed the high-school kid he had bought it from was legit. Cheeks hot with embarrassment, he grabbed his cake off the table and ran out the door, DeAndre’s uproarious laughter ringing in his ears.