The Disgruntled Life Of An NBA Ball Hog: An Ongoing NBA 2K14 Adventure
My NBA 2K14 player is a real jerk. Some of the decisions I make in his career frame him in such a way, but he's generally an unpleasant person, even when he's trying to be nice. Judging by what people in the game's social media are saying, he's probably the least liked player in the history of the Cleveland Cavaliers' organization. His teammates hate him. The fans want him off of the court. Even the press is sick of his antics. Here's a timeline that illustrates how I'm turning him into one of the worst characters I've ever encountered in a video game.
My agent pays me a visit at the court I practice at. He's winded, and has clearly been searching all over for me. At this point, I'm sitting calmly on the bench. I've clearly been screening my calls. He hands me a ticket that will get me into the NBA Rookie Showcase held in New York City. I don't thank him. I just say, "I'm one step from the NBA." I then spend a few seconds hyping up my skills. I tell him I have to get to work. Rather than acknowledging the hard work he's putting in for me, I (jokingly?) ask him to stick around to shag balls because "that's what [he does] best."
My winded agent
Three Weeks Later
I arrive at the Rookie Showcase and immediately brag about my skills to coach and demand minutes. After that, I pick a fight with an opponent named Jackson Ellis in the hallway. Ellis is clearly supposed to be the villainous rival in this story, but I've already out-villained him. The story is starting to look like Top Gun, only with Iceman going against a clone of himself instead of Maverick.
The Rookie Showcase
Since I need to put up big numbers to improve my draft potential, I refrain from passing the ball for the entire game. I shoot terribly, putting up 13 points with 28 percent shooting. The big thing I learn in this game: If I continually jam on the A button, my player will demand the ball be thrown to him. This obviously drives my teammates mad. My teammate rating is an F.
Two NBA teams sit me down for interviews. I hype myself up as much as possible and end up coming across as a maniac who cares about nothing other than my career and the money I make.
The NBA Draft
I stay in New York for the draft. My rival shows up. We exchange words again. The draft begins, and I'm on the edge of my seat. I'm not drafted in the top 10, which angers me. I fall to the fifteenth pick, made by the Cleveland Cavaliers. They have no idea what they are getting.
Getting to Know My Team
Coach doesn't put me into the first two games – the smartest move he'll make all season. After a game, Anderson Varejao, a teammate with a lot of hair, asks me to carry his luggage. I tell him "No." He says it's something all rookies are asked to do. I tell him to get lost.
My First Game
In the third game one of my teammates falls onto the ground and grabs his ankle. He looks to be in bad shape. I finally get into the game! I try to be a good teammate, but no one will pass me the ball. I return to my jamming on the A button ways. I score six points in eight minutes. We lose by 22. My teammate rating is once again an F.
My Fifth Game
Fans on social media are sick of my ball hogging style. The team won't win any games this way, but I don't care. In a post-game press conference I talk about what a dynamic player I'm becoming, using a harsh tone to answer questions.
Coming into My Own
I'm starting to put up big numbers. The team is still losing most games, but at least my star is rising. Fans hate me for being great.
My hairy teammate tries to haze me again, asking that I wear a clown nose in all post-game interviews and on the airplane. Knowing he'll come back and ask me to do something stupid again, I decide to do it. In the next post-game interview, the press asks me about the clown nose. I refuse to talk about it, again coming across as a complete ass.
For reasons I'll never understand, my teammates ask me if I want to party in Cleveland with them. I begrudgingly accept the invite. The next morning I awaken on my couch. My phone is buzzing. I'm late for practice. When I arrive at the arena, coach informs me that the internet is filled with pictures of me all over town. I was apparently out until 6 AM. He suspends me for one game, but not before I attempt to throw my teammates under the bus.
The 47 Point Game
I put up 47 points against the Celtics. Hardly anyone else on my team shot the ball. After the game, coach pulls me aside to say he's disappointed with my effort. He's cutting my minutes moving forward. I call him crazy and storm out of his office. The next day I sit down with the Cavs' GM and say I want more minutes. He says he'll talk to coach.
Fighting at Practice
A five-minute scrimmage at practice almost ends in blood. On an offensive series, Anderson Varejao bumps into me, and I lose my mind. I scream at him, and coach has to get between us before punches are thrown. Coach talks me down. I tell coach why I'm upset, yet I never make eye contact with him. I'm either looking at Varejao, or I have no respect for coach.
Lost in the Clouds
Any attempts to play NBA 2K14 this week are met with hard crashes to the dashboard and server problems. My player is stuck on the cloud...just like his terrible billboard that's all over Cleveland.
LeBron James Thinks I'm Awesome
The Miami Heat absolutely school the Cleveland Cavaliers. I put up an impressive 25 points, and LeBron James notices. He tracks me down after the game and tells me he was impressed with my game. He gives me three tips that he thinks will help me advice my career. I'm thankful and kinda star struck. I'm not given any choice in this conversation. I have to be nice to LeBron, yet I really want to tell him I am a better player than he is. Lame.
Me and My Big Mouth
In a post game press conference I run my mouth, saying my teammates need to give me the ball more. The following day coach Mike Brown threatens to cut my minutes again. I tell him that the loss wasn't my fault. I cap this conversation off by saying "I ain't no miracle worker janitor dude."
Sure enough, coach Brown cuts my minutes. What a jerk! How do I show him up? By putting up 35 points with an A+ teammate rating. I also grab five steals. After the game I check out the news and am shocked to see Cleveland is trying to trade me.
Called into the Principal's Office Again
On the following day the Cavs' GM calls me into his office. He asks me if I really want to get traded. I say "Yes." He says I should take a few days to really think about it. My response: "That ain't gonna change my mind, but if that makes you feel better..."
On Christmas day the Cleveland Cavaliers trade me to the Charlotte Bobcats. This team is owned by Michael Jordan. I'm guessing LeBron James called up Air Jordan and said something like "That Reiner kid is the best player I've ever seen. You should do whatever you can to get him to be a Bobcat."
Still on the Bench
I thought for sure Charlotte would add me to their starting lineup. I was only on the bench in Cleveland because I was a pain in the ass. I am, after all, the seventh best power forward in the league (according to the game's rankings). Regardless of my amazing skills, I sit on the bench as the sixth man. In my first game with the team (a loss), I put up 33 points and 5 rebounds. I even netted an assist, showing I'm all about being a team player with this new organization.
My antics get in the away again. In my first post-game press conference with the Bobcats, a journalist asks me how long I think it will take to adjust to my new team. I say "None. I'm good now. They just need to get me the ball more." I'm immediately called into a meeting by the Bobcat's GM. We don't see eye-to-eye. I demand a trade. I tell him I'll play for the Heat, Wolves, or Bulls. He says he'll see what he can do. I unlock an achievement for trying to flee my team.
The Next Day
I meet with the GM again and he tells me I deserve to be a starter. We don't talk about the previous day's conversation at all. I stand up and say "Woo! It's about time! This beast needs to be unleashed!" I have no idea what is going on with this team. Stat update: I'm averaging 20.1 points, 3.6 rebounds, and .6 assists, and .7 steals per game.
That Same Day
I'm sitting on the airplane doing absolutely nothing, like I usually am. One of my teammates sits down next to me. I have no idea who he is, but I seem to attract players with a lot of hair. He heard through the grapevine that I was going to be a starter. He lends his support. I look away from him and say "It was only a matter of time." My tone is cold, harsh. He loses his mind and says he's going to stop me from becoming a starter. Whatever, dude.
Even More That Day
Game time! I'M NOT IN THE STARTING LINEUP! THAT SCRUFFY-HAIRED JERK ACTUALLY CHANGED COACH'S MIND! I'm stunned, and I play one of my worst games yet, putting up just 28 points with 3 rebounds. I WANT OFF OF THIS TEAM!
A Talking To
At practice the next day coach berates me, saying I need to respect my teammates. I shrug him off.
I'm the Best
Despite sitting on the bench for the entire season, Dime Magazine recognizes my skills and puts me on their cover. In your face, coach! I apparently gave them exclusive photos.
A Record Breaking Performance
In my next game I break the Bobcats' single game scoring mark of 42. I put up 47 points with 11 rebounds and zero assists. For whatever reason, I perform celebratory karate moves frequently during this game. I haven't done this before.
The Bobcats' organization has had enough of me. They ship me to the Atlanta Hawks, a team that WASN'T on my list of desired destinations. The Bobcats will pay for this. In an attempt to create a new image for myself in Atlanta, I buy a new shirt. I look like a tiger!
A Warm Welcome
Atlanta is treating me like a king. I'm not too thrilled with this organization, but I like the advertising so far. Time to see what my teammates think of me...
A New Kind of Celebration
In my first game with the Hawks I put on a show, throwing down 35 points. After every bucket, I run over to the scorers' table and climb on top of it. I stand there for everyone to admire. This means I don't play much defense. We lose the game by 20 points. In my post-game interview, I praise my teammates and this new team. I wasn't given a choice in the matter. This was scripted event.
The GM calls me into his office to see what I think of the team so far. I scream bloody murder about not being a starter, and demand that I get traded. Put me in the starting lineup or ship me out.
Darth Vader Noooooooo!
The Cleveland Cavaliers are showing the most interest in me. I already played for them this season! I'm pretty sure they just want me to return so they can murder me. I don't want to play for any of the teams listed. Maybe I shouldn't have demanded a trade so soon.
The Next Game
In a close game against the Golden State Warriors I'm asked to raise my hand and say I committed a foul as a way of protecting a teammate who is about to foul out. Rather than doing that, I walk away from the scene slowly, looking up at the lights. My teammate lands the foul and we end up losing by two points.
Finally Some Respect
An odd looking businessman crawls into the back of my limo and asks me if I want to invest in a new energy drink. He hands me a sample and I try it. I'm immediately hit with a jolt of energy. I scream about how great the drink is. Hell yes I'm going in on this. Where do I sign?
So Much Hate
The Atlanta crowd boos me in my next game. The announcers are quick to chime in on the hostile reception, saying 'Why wouldn't they be? His comments have been extremely inflammatory." Whatever, Atlanta. You obviously hate great things.
I'M A STARTER! EAT IT, ATLANTA!
Coach obviously doesn't agree with the fans. He thinks I'm great and he wants me to start for the Hawks. Rather than thanking him, I say "Finally! The league ain't ready for this!" I pat my chest cockily and leave his office.
Here's a Quote for You, Press Jerks
After starting for the first time, I sit down and talk to the press. They want to know if there was any added pressure now that I'm starting. My response: "Now that I've clearly established myself as the best option we have...no. I'll keep crushing it on the court."
The GM Wants to See Me
I'm called back into an office that I seem to spend way too much time in. The GM informs me that I've been traded to the Indiana Pacers. I'm okay with this. Blue Collar, gold swagger, baby!
What are the Announcers Getting At?
I start at the four spot in my first game with the Pacers. The announcers say that it might help if I'm traded to a good team (which the Pacers are not right now) because they usually have role models who help the young players. Looking at the numbers I'm putting up every night, I'm not the one that needs help.
I Hate Paul George
I'm hanging out in the Pacers' break room minding my own business and Paul George comes up to me and says that he thinks I'm a talented player. He's right. He then says that I should be his sidekick and we should work together on the court. EXCUSE ME? SIDEKICK? "Yo, let me tell you something right now. I'm no sidekick," I say in a harsh tone. He tells me I haven't been in the league long enough to talk to him like that. I tell him I'll put up 25 points a night easy and leave.
The Next Day
I enter the GM's office and demand that he trades Paul George. The GM asks me if I'm willing to try to work with him for the sake of the team. I say "I can't see how this will work out. He needs to go. I'm asking right here, trade him. Make this situation go away."
Put Up or Shut Up
In the next game, coach challenges me to put up 25 points and achieve a blowout win. I bet George is traded if I accomplish this goal. I put up 36, but we lose. After the game that jerk Paul George mocks me. I wasn't the problem, man! I GOTTA GET OFF OF THIS TEAM!
The Reason I Wear Number 50
My goal is to score at least 50 points a night. I do that in the next game. In the post-game interview I tell the press that they can tell their grandchildren what they just witnessed. And they should. That game was one for the ages.
More Limo Business
I once again find myself conducting business in the back of a limo. Sitting next to me is a well-dressed agent, who says he represents the best of the best. This intrigues me. He wants to bring my game to the next level off of the court. He says my agent is an amateur who gets clobbered in negotiations. "I don't talk. I close," he concludes. This guy seems like the real deal, but he looked me in the eyes. That's a big HELL NO in my book. My current agent wouldn't dare look me in the eyes.
My Agent Does Good
My agent visits me at my kick-ass pad. He's excited. He says he landed Kia for me. I Google what Kia is, and it turns out I'm the new face of a crappy car company. Maybe I should go with that other agent...
The Next Game
My agent tracks me down in the tunnel prior to the start of my next game. "Just a heads up, I've been hearing your name come up a lot in trade talks," he says. "It might not mean anything, but if you don't want to get shipped out, try hard to fit in." Well played, Paul George. Well played. I bet he demanded I be kicked off of the team.
The Pacers trade me to the Minnesota Timberwolves. This is one of the teams I wanted to play for. Thank you, Paul George! If I could send him a "suck it" text right now, I would! J.R. Rider, my hero, played for the Wolves. To land my talents, the Wolves give up Dante Cunningham and first and second round picks for the next draft.
I hurt my ankle in my first game with the Wolves, a team that I'm already upset with after they put me back on the bench as their sixth man. I put up 29 points and play through the pain. After the game, a trainer comes up to me and asks if he can look at my ankle. NO WAY! I tell him I'm fine. He looks concerned. I don't care.
STOP LOOKING INTO MY EYES!
That other agent who wants me is back. I tell him I don't want to leave my friend agent (I had no say in this). He hands me a crappy gold watch and says he'll be in touch. He keeps looking into my eyes. Who does this guy think he is?
My friend agent knows that I'm talking with another agent. He says he only takes 10 percent of my cut, whereas the other guy will take 25. He also points out that the other agent represents many players and won't be able to devote all of his time to me. My agent focuses just on me. I like this hero worship. I think I'll stay with my friend.
That Energy Drink Investment...
My agent has been trying to get a hold of that energy drink guy that I gave a boatload of money to. No calls or emails are being returned. I think that guy stole my money.
Booted From Game
In a throwaway game against the Suns, I land a technical foul and throw the mother of all fits. I get kicked out of the game. Kevin Martin approaches me in the locker room and says he loves how crazy I got. I finally have a teammate who I respect. In the post-game press conference I say the refs suck. All of their calls against me were unfair.
Coach calls upon me to take the last shot in a close game. If I make it we win. Only eight seconds remain on the clock. I receive the inbound pass and choke. Two defenders swarm me at the three-point line and one of them grabs the ball. A ref calls jump ball. Two seconds remain on the clock. I win the tip and J.J. Barea makes a buzzer-beater shot. We win. The press is quick to ask me what happened. I complain and say I got fouled. The refs blew it again.
That Other Agent...
...is in my limo again, and he wants an answer as to whether or not he can represent me. I tell him to take a hike. I'm not leaving my friend agent. He gets angry and says some horrible things to me.
My Friend Agent
I tell my friend that I turned down the offer from the other agent. He's really happy. We play NBA 2K14 together.
In my next game, I break the Timberwolves' single game scoring record of 47. I put up 53 points in this victory. The press doesn't want to hear about this amazing performance. They instead ask me about a rumor. I'm supposedly not getting along with my teammates. I was spotted eating lunch in my car. I say this rumor is crazy.
A Week Later
Car lunch is still the hot topic in the NBA. I can't escape it. My agent is all worked up, and says he feels he can't do anything for me anymore.
The Respect I Deserve
I was selected as the cover athlete for NBA 2K15. I tell the press, "with the numbers I'm putting up, could they really leave me off of the cover?"
My agent informs me that Champs Sports wants me to represent them...but only if I put up better numbers than that *** Jackson Ellis in the Rising Stars Challenge. Who cares about winning? I want Champs! I put up 51 points and land the deal. I even visit a store to hang out with fans. I'm the best.
About the Button Down Shirt
I did not dress myself in this shirt. The game made me wear it. Don't worry, I'm still rocking the tiger look.
*Update* A New Kind of Taunting
Now that I'm the face of a crappy sporting goods store, you'd think I would tone down my act a little bit. Present myself as a role model and such. No chance. In my latest game, I put up 48 points. After each amazing dunk, I leap into my air and plant my crotch into an opposing player's face. I do this not once, twice, but thrice. No one says a word about this crude act. I'm unstoppable.
Trouble All Around
Now that my star is rising and I'm filthy rich, I'm starting to notice that people are looking at me differently. I don't like it. I think stalkers are watching my every move. The guy who mops up sweat during the games is always looking at me funny. There's also some creep on Twitter who really wants to talk to me. I need a security detail!