Nicolas Batum 24 Points/9 Assists Full Highlights (3/19/2016)

Nic Batum groped around the empty room, feeling panic setting off alarms in his mind. He forced himself to calm down and think rationally: he was trapped in an inner room of the Blazers practice facility, chased here by a microwaved basketball turned bloodthirsty mutant monster. In a few minutes, the door would be broken down, and that would be the end. What could they do?

Nic’s teammate had retreated into the farthest corner of the room and was sobbing loudly, so convinced of his own imminent death that he could make no attempt to forestall it. Wincing each time the monster pounded on the door of the room, Nic took out his phone and activated the flashlight app. In the ensuing pure-white glow, Nic saw that there was nothing in this room to help them. Nothing except…

“Where did you come from?” Nic asked the suit-wearing man who leaned against the wall.

“Charlotte,” answered the man.

“Okay. That doesn’t make sense. But okay,” Nic replied, forcing his voice to be calm. “Can you help us deal with that microwaved abomination that’s trying to kill us?”

“Sort of.” The man approached Nic so they could talk face-to-face. “You just got traded to the Hornets.”

This fact barely registered with Nic. His mind was occupied by what seemed to him to be more pressing matters than NBA transactions. “That’s cool. But we’ve kinda got a problem here. See, my dumb teammate over there thought it would be a good idea to put a basketball in the microwave for ten minutes, and-”

The man put a hand up. “Don’t worry about that,” he interrupted. “You’re playing in Charlotte now.”

“That doesn’t matter right now!” Nic bellowed, stomping his foot at the same time that the door visibly bowed in to the pressure of the monstrosity outside it.

“But it does. The same way I entered this place, I can exit this place,” replied the man, showing no visible reaction to Nic’s outburst.

Nic stared at the man, unable to comprehend whatever cryptic meaning lay behind his words. “What?”

“Take my hand, Nic.”

Nic did not argue with the man. The sounds the door was making indicated that their death would arrive in about ten seconds. As Nic grabbed the unknown man’s hand and they were pulled into a swirling blue vortex composed of the very timestuff that maintained the temporal order of the universe, the door did in fact give way, only for Nic and the man to be instantly transported far, far away.

They were standing outside the Hornets’ arena. Nic blinked in the sunlight. “What about Victor? My teammate? Is he going to be okay?” he asked, referring to his (former) Blazers teammate, Victor Claver.

“Probably not,” answered the man who Nic now realized to be none other than Michael Jordan himself. “But that’s okay.”

“Yeah. That’s okay,” Nic agreed. The two men stood in silent companionship, both feeling the same emotion: excitement for a new chapter in Nic’s basketball career.

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