Trading carrots for chocolate pudding since 2012.
Since about 1:30 p.m. Sunday, it had been writing itself in my head. Such a disgusting act couldn’t be ignored. Not because the incident was ugly, but because it affected me financially.
I was ready to break my self-imposed Twitter boycott. I had to find the easiest way to get my point across to this individual.
No matter how it was going perceived, whether funny, nerdy or just plain stupid, I was going to do it.
I was going to let Metta World Peace know that he owes $50.
OK, let me clarify. It’s not like I’m hard-up, although I’m definitely not ballin’ either. This was about principle. And fair play.
You see, I play fantasy basketball. (Go ahead, call me a nerd. It’s cool.) Down to our last week of the regular season, my matchup would decide a lot. I needed a win or a tie for third place. A loss meant I’m assed out and third goes elsewhere. My opponent needed a win and another guy to lose to capture the crown.
Of course, it came down to the last day. Without going into too much detail, I needed my guys to score and grab rebounds. One of those guys was the Thunder’s James Harden, who scored 14 points in just 13 minutes.
With 1:37 left in the second quarter, Harden — and my heart — dropped.
Moments after a dunk that brought the Lakers within 1, World Peace “celebrated” his throw-down by clocking Harden with what he called an “unintentional” elbow to the head. World Peace was correctly ejected. However, I lost the second-best scorer in my day’s lineup for the rest of the day.
Fast forward to the Hornets-Clippers game, the last NBA contest of the day and of my league’s regular season. We each had one guy going: He had a star in Blake Griffin, I had the lesser-known DeAndre Jordan, good for blocks and sometimes rebounds. I also had what I thought were comfortable cushions in points (19) and rebounds (13), and I only trailed blocks by two. I already had 3-pointers, steals and turnovers wrapped up, he had assists on lock. I just needed to secure one more category for the win.
As I followed the game online while working a rare Sunday shift, that comfort I thought I had turned into anxiety and then became fear. I couldn’t lose again. Not after the way this past football season played out (just missed a money spot in all 3 of my leagues, including a first-to-fourth finish on the last day in one league). Guys who aren’t even in my league were getting regular updates — some asked, others just had to deal with it — including several messages in the last two minutes.
In the end, we tied in points and blocks, and I won rebounds by 1. I won 4-1, third place and the $50. Also, the guy who started the week in first held on with my win after losing the final week to a cellar dweller. My opponent had to settle for second.
It was over.
Not just me securing a money spot and breathing a sigh of relief, but also my plan to challenge World Peace. It was basically going to point out that his action cost me. The way Harden was scoring, I would have been comfortable going into that Clippers game. I figured $50 is chump change to someone who makes millions. On top of that, if he pays it, think of the publicity for someone as nutty as he sometimes seems to be. Who else thanks their psychiatrist after winning a championship?
None of that matters now. I got my Grant, I am still not on Twitter and, most of all, I don’t have to worry about the possibility of catching a celebratory elbow.