UPDATED 5/8/10 5:10pm
(Sorry folks for not completing this piece earlier, but thank you for the fabulous response to the first post of Exit, Stage Right, Almost No One Left: Inside the Knicks Exit Interviews 2010 . This weekend, I finally found a little time and inspiration to complete my transcription of the Knicks’ exit interviews as revealed by my inside (my head) sources. My objective is to complete it this weekend and as before, I will reveal it in parts as I transcribe the tapes. Hopefully, I will be done by 8pm on Sunday. So if you’re interested keep popping your head in to catch the next revelation. Thanks again. Enjoy.)
Gallo, dressed coolly in white linen pants and a silk shirt, seemed a little worn and slightly tired but his handsomely boyish look still prevailed beneath his wry smile. He walked in, proud as a cock leaving a hen house, with two bottles of wine held chest high.
“Hi, Mr. D. Mr. Dee. What’s a crackin’ up Unc. Where is da parteee?” he shot out in his hard accent in the middle of some smooth footwork as he came deeper into the office.
“Ciao, Danilo. Ho appena chiesto di non chiamarmi zio in ufficio,” said the coach a little more harshly than he usually spoke to his best friend’s son.
“I’m sorry Unc, I mean Coach. You said don’t call you Unc during the season. You didn’t say after the seas- . . ,” said a hurt Danilo.
“C’mon Gallo, lo sai meglio. Siamo ancora al lavoro. The season is not over until you leave this office,” pleaded the Coach in a softer tone when seeing Gallo’s joy start to slip-slide away from his face. “What did you bring us?” asked D’Antoni quickly switching the issue.
“Due vini della California speciali. Un Cabernet Sauvignon della Napa Valley. Robert Mondovi 1999 e un classico vino Nate Robinson ha inviato come regalo di commiato. Si chiama Night Train,”1 responded Gallo who usually spoke in his native tongue when he became upset.
“Night Train? Che merda Nate sinistra è veleno. Che cosa pensa, non so la differenza tra Night Train, Ripple, Thunderbird e un buon vino. Sono da West Virginia, non poodunk Mississippi. Ecco perché ho messo il culo sul treno di mezzanotte per la Hellachusetts e pensa che stia per ottenere che 1 milione di dollari di bonus playoff. Si vedrà. . . ,” 2 said Mike with considerable disdain.
Donnie Walsh busted up laughing.
“What they say? What they say?,” asked the blogger, a little frustrated that he was excluded from the apparent joke.
“Oh that was rude, Tommy. Sorry,” said Mike. “English Danilo, English.”
“I’m sorry Mr. Dee,” Gallo said.
Donnie stopped laughing enough to explain what was being said. “Gallo brought us two bottles of wine to celebrate a successful end to the season. One is a very expensive Californian wine and the other is a gift for Mike from Nate Robinson and Larry Hughes. Mike was saying he expected poison from Nate and he got it. Are you familiar with Night Train, Tommy?”
“Are you kiddin’? My folks were hard working liberals, down with the people. That’s really why I’m such a great people person. I may seem totally sophisticated, but I been in dark alleys and ugly dives. I know Night Train and a little Ripple with ice too. I’m a man of the world,” he boasted puffing his chest with more cock than Gallo after hitting a tre from two feet beyond the arc. “I hang with all types of people: black, white, Latino, smart, dumb. I even have a special place in my heart for the mentally disabled with low Bball IQ. The only people I rarely hang out with are ones smarter than me and that’s not intentional. Yeah, I like Night Train. I also like a little Yellow Tail and a taste of Brown Sugar if you know what I mean. . ,” Tommy said as he turned to the youngster and quickly winked both eyes alternately, making his face look as though it was giving morse signals to a paper plane headed for a crash landing.
“No, I don’t know what you mean but it doesn’t matter,” said Mike, ignoring Dee’s effort to get a phantom high five from a disinterested Gallo across the room.
“Gallo, why did you bring a California wine instead of a nice European one?” asked Walsh.
“Perhaps I want to go to Hollywood when my contract is up,” Gallo chuckled.
“Not if I spread the rumor you have a bad back,” Mr. Walsh zipped, not totally amused by his future star with max contract written in his attitude if not his game.
“No, No, Mr. Walsh, this is what Adam Morrison [of the Lakers] drank on his way to winning a championship. I drink it because I want to feel like a winner. I’m wearing his Laker jersey under my silk shirt too, but I am most comfortable drinking his wine,” said Gallo laughing.
“Next thing you know you’ll be wearing Kobe’s panties too,” said a deep laughing voice from the doorway. It was Tracey McGrady walking through the door behind his two anxious pit bulls slowed only by the gold two-dog leash in his left hand.
“Ciao Superstar Supreme,Tracey McGrady,” said Gallo repeating the address McGrady required from younger players as part of his rehabilitation program which he privately dubbed “The Manhattan Project, Greatness Ionized.”
“Danilo, you can stop calling him that now. The season is over and Tracey is retiring according to the press.” said Coach with his Dick Dasterdly glare and Muttley snicker. “Apparently, the Manhattan project has imploded.”
McGrady’s dogs sensing the snarkiness on coach’s breath growled and began to pull the leash in D’Antoni’s direction. “Whoaa Magic. Whoa Isiah. Stop boys. Stop,” McGrady yelled at his angry canines.
When he heard the name Isiah, Tommy jumped from a seated position onto the arm of the sofa in one fast motion. Walsh, fearless, just sat there and stared quietly reaching for the gun taped beneath his desk. D’Antoni was not so cool.
“Tracy get those fuckin’ dogs outta hear. You can’t bring weapons into the workplace. You want to end up like Gilbert Arenas?”
“Superstar Supreme Tracey McGrady can never be like Arenas. Arenas is. . . ,” paused Danilo who had a good relationship with Tracey who was always willing to offer tips on being a superstud. “How do you say it in English. . . Arenas is . . . dumb as shit,” said Danilo.
“Don’t worry Coach. Isiah only bites if you poke at him or if you are a member of the press. And Magic? Well he only bites Isiah,” said Tracey.
Tommy thought Isiah was looking at him as his foot kept slipping off the couch arm. “I’m not the press. I’m a blogger who breaks news. I am not a reporter. I’M A BLOGGER MAN,” screamed Tommy.
(TO BE CONTINUED)
“Tommy, you smell like a reporter to my dogs. And look at you, you’re sweating all over that couch like a beat writer,” said an irked McGrady still seething from the press coverage he received as he played through his pain.
“Tracey. . . ,” started Mr. Walsh.
“All you guys write garbage about players but when someone challenges your competencies, you all get bent out of shape,” said McGrady.
“He’s different Tracey,” pleaded Mr. Walsh.
“I’m not trying to single nobody out. It just seems to me that New York reporters are a bunch of wussies. They are bullies hiding behind the first amendment like it’s a tiny fig leaf,” McGrady said.
“Amen, naked as a field rat” mumbled D’Antoni.
“Dumb as dirt, basketball wannabes and they have the nerve to question NBA player basketball IQs. When they get called out they start whining like chumps,” McGrady proselytized. “New York reporters are so messed up that even Brad Miller holds a press conference to let everyone know he’s not coming here. Brad Miller! Fucking Brad Miller says no to the Knicks just to get the press off his back and you weren’t going to ask his ass.”
“Tracey, Tracey. The dogs. The dogs. If they don’t have contract, they’ve got to go now,” calmly interrupted Walsh.
“Yeah, yeah, I got that. All the dogs without contracts got to go. OK boss. I just really wanted to thank you for the great opportunity to play here in the Mecca. I appreciated how you guys marketed my rehab program as a comeback.” McGrady said skillfully shifting gears from fast talking preacher to a very grateful charmer. He seemed destined for a career in announcing perhaps replacing Mark Jackson as a partner with that gorilla suit, Van Gundy, next season, D’Antoni thought to himself.
“Well, you helped us out too,” Walsh replied.
The dogs sat, Dee was still dripping sweat down toward the couch and Walsh’s hands were now above the desk, the gun still under it, unmoved.
“But it’s funny how things work out and we really appreciate that you got that big contract we could trade for to create cap space. Bringing your contract and reputation here was a no brainer. It was perfect for our marketing team.”
“Yeah, I think I’ll stop by and thank the marketing folks. I DECLARE, they made the end of the season really exciting,” said Tracey energetically recalling the season’s tag-line, “Declare,” asking fans to make a commitment to the team no matter what.
“That would be nice Tracey but Mr. Dolan moved the marketing offices to Newsday. They share space with the sports department, so you’ll need to go to Long Island,” said Walsh.
“No problem, I got a great GPS,” said McGrady. “Anyway, I really am sorry that I wasn’t able to give you my best years but this was really cool. Seriously, even the press was pretty good for a while.”
“Actually, if you had dropped three spots in ‘77, I would have chosen you instead of Austin Croshere. What are you doing next?” asked Mr. Walsh.
“Well, Plan A, Mr. Walsh, is to do PX90 starting next week, coupled with a new line dancing technique that will help my foot work and strengthen my knees,” McGrady responded.
“I’m doing PX90 too, for my back,” chimed in Gallo.
Walsh said to McGrady, “You know you can use the facilities here, but I want you to give me a call in August and we’ll check you out in September and maybe depending on where you are in your progress, we can work something out financially.”
D’Antoni started to gag silently. Why are you telling him that lie, thought Mike. McGrady is history and probably going to take that line dancing to an audition of “Dancing With The Has Beens” because he ain’t playing for me next year.
“Something financially, like a max contract?” said McGrady.
Everybody laughed, except McGrady.
“You’d be more likely to get a maximum security sentence,” said D’Antoni.
McGrady raised his brows. “Just kidding,” Mike retreated.
“Thanks, Mr. Walsh. I’ll call,” Tracey said. He shook Walsh’s hand, waived at everyone else and started to leave.
“Well thank you guys. Come on Starsky, Come on Hutch,” Tracey said to the dogs.
“I thought. . . Isia. . ,” Dee started
“Oh, I was just messin’ with you man. Peace out,” closed McGrady as he walked down the hall to the elevator.
“Remind me to change my number next week,” Walsh said to no one in particular.
(SURPRISE CONCLUSION NEXT BY Sunday at 6pm)
The final installment can now be found at The Final Chapter — Exit, Stage Right, Almost No One Left: Inside the Knicks Exit Interviews 2010.
1“Two special California wines. A cabernet Sauvignon from the Napa Valley. Robert Mondovi 1999 and a classic wine Nate Robinson left as a parting gift. It is called Night Train.”
2“Night Train? That shit Nate left is poison. What does he think, I don’t know the difference between Night Train, Ripple, Thunderbird and a good wine. I’m from West Virginia, not poodunk Mississippi. That’s why I put his ass on the Midnight Train to Hellachusetts and he think he’s going to get that one million dollar playoff bonus. He’ll see. . .”
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