Zach LaVine groggily sat up in his bed, and, as he did every morning, he reached for his phone to check his various social media platforms for new messages. As always, there were too many to deal with all at that moment, but one name caught his eye: Nikola Vucevic. They had only exchanged messages once before, under exceedingly strange circumstances, and now the Orlando Magic center had left him a voicemail. An ominous feeling washed over him as his finger dialed “1” to play the message.
“Hey Zach, it’s Nikola again. Aaron spent the whole season boasting about how he stole your ACL’s, and we all ignored it, but then when he lost the dunk contest again, he, uh, he went a little crazy. He just kept mumbling ‘Chicago’ under his breath and it freaked us all out. So if he, like, shows up at your house, maybe you should have a gun ready or something. Thought I should let you know. Uh, bye.”
Zach very clearly remembered what had transpired during the previous off-season. Aaron Gordon had broken into his home with the goal of ending Zach’s career by “stealing” his ACL’s. Zach didn’t know how exactly Aaron had planned to “steal” ligaments that were safe and secure in his knees, but he did know that his paper bag full of raw bacon had been effective in making Aaron think he had succeeded in his quest.
Zach had hoped that this offering of bacon and a shoddily hand-crafted “2016 dunk contest trophy” would put an end to their one-sided “rivalry”, but, if Nikola’s words were to be believed, the “rivalry” was still alive and well. Luckily, Zach still had the sophisticated home-security system that had been installed at the time of their last encounter, so Aaron had no chance of showing up at the house undetected.
What Aaron planned to do once he showed up, however, was a mystery.
Alarms were going off. Zach awakened from a light sleep and glanced at his dozens of security camera feeds. One feed, the one which had detected movement, was highlighted. There, a tall figure dressed in all black was moving stealthily while lugging a large piece of equipment. Good. That would give Zach time to invitingly open a kitchen window to grant the intruder easy access. Zach didn’t feel like dealing with the aftermath of a forced entry.
After opening the window, Zach ran back upstairs to preserve the illusion that the intrusion had woken him from sleep. Five minutes later, Aaron squeezed through the window and plopped gracelessly into the sink. He then reached back outside and pulled through the equipment that had been left on the lawn.
Zach walked down the stairs and pretended to be surprised. “Oh no! A home invader!”
Aaron ripped off his black ski mask. “You gave me fake ACL’s and a fake trophy,” he growled. “Now I will finally take what is rightfully mine by the use of this hyper-advanced hypnosis gun!”
Zach appraised the so-called “hypnosis gun” which Aaron was brandishing. The gun appeared to simply be a Super-Soaker with a satellite TV dish attached to it. A black-and-white spiral pattern had been painted on the concave part of the dish in an apparent bid to make it more “hypnotic”. Trailing behind the water gun was a coiled phone cord attached to a microwave.
Hoping to avoid whatever catastrophic malfunction was sure to ensue if Aaron tried to use his “weapon”, Zach brought out the replica dunk contest trophy that he had paid hundreds of dollars to have made. “I’ve had a change of heart, man. Here’s the real trophy. Take it.”
Aaron stared blankly at the trophy for a while, as if his plan had no contigency for the trophy being surrendered so easily. “But the title of dunk contest champion can only be conferred if the trophy is WILLINGLY handed from the victor to the loser!” Aaron exclaimed. “It cannot be gained by coercion or force! That’s why I’m going to hypnotize you!”
“I AM willingly giving it to you,” Zach said. “The guilt of having won it consumes me. I can’t continue to live with it in my house. Take it. You deserve it. You won.”
Aaron bent down and hit some buttons on the microwave, then pointed the “gun” at Zach. “I’m not falling for your tricks again! Prepare to taste my hypno-ray!”
It was a good thing Zach backed away at that moment, because the microwave exploded at the moment the trigger on the Super-Soaker was pulled. Flying shards of plastic shrapnel were launched into Aaron’s legs and chest.
“But how!?” Aaron wailed as he dropped the gun and fell to the ground, bleeding profusely onto the tile. “No man has an anti-hypnotic force field strong enough to resist my hypno-powers!”
Zach sighed and dialed 911 to summon an ambulance for the whimpering man. “Next year, can you please bother Derrick Jones? His trophy is just as ill-gotten as mine.” But there was no response. Aaron had passed out from blood loss.
Zach laid the fake trophy on Aaron’s chest. Maybe the paramedics would let him keep it.