The Small Puerto Rican
May 13, 2011
In a cave deep within a mountain range on the far side of the world, The Small Puerto Rican reclines in his chair and puffs on a cigar. As the smoke rings drift upward lazily toward the ceiling, The Small Puerto Rican closes his eyes and allows himself a brief moment of reflection.
It hadn’t been difficult. Not for the Puerto Rican, who was well-trained in the art of psychological warfare.
The Puerto Rican had known the Los Angeles men were a prideful and angry bunch. He knew their minds were weak. He knew he could break them. And break them he did, almost immediately.
He closes his eyes and he recalls the man called Artest succumbing quickly and without resistance to the Puerto Rican’s will. It had required simply the execution of pick-and-roll strategy that he had practiced for hours with the German, so weak was Artest! And what’s more, it resulted in a one-game forced absence. The Puerto Rican never laughs, but he was deeply amused by this recollection.
Of course, the conquer of Artest was easy and took just one game. His much-larger ally, Bynum, was more difficult to destroy. It took almost a full four games before the Puerto Rican finally won, but victory was sweet. And although Dallas had already secured the victory in the series, The Puerto Rican had beaten Bynum into submission, exposing his true colors — and demonstrated again his formidable and terrifying abilities.
But he had been almost too successful. The public had surely noticed his utter vanquishing of two prominent Los Angeles players. If his powers were to become widely known, it would render them entirely useless. So he hides. And he waits. And when an ESPN TV show wants to speak with him, he immediately declines.
But it was just for show. The Puerto Rican calls back minutes later and accepts the offer to appear via webcam on First Take. He knows his next victims may play for Memphis, featuring players who punched each other over a card game. It would, The Puerto Rican surmises, be even easier a task to conquer them than it had been Los Angeles. He lobs the first grenade by saying he would prefer to play Memphis over their opponent, Oklahoma City. The Puerto Rican nods happily when he pictures Memphis’ Tony Allen hearing of his proclamation — it would be the first jab in a series that would surely bring about Allen’s demise.
The Puerto Rican’s phone rings.
It is the German, calling to inform him of the result of Game 4 between Memphis and Oklahoma City.
The Small Puerto Rican tells the German he is late.
The German apologizes profusely, explaining the game had gone to three overtimes — Oklahoma had won — and begging for forgiveness.
The Puerto Rican decides against crushing the German, instead thanking him and hanging up.
He thinks for a moment, then takes another drag of his cigar.