When the 45-0 Golden State Warriors met the 0-46 Philadelphia 76ers in the City of Brotherly Love on Jan. 30, Vegas was obviously expecting a huge win by the Dubs. The Sixers, though, had other plans.
And those plans involved baby oil. Lots and lots of baby oil. Vast, nearly unlimited, quantities of baby oil.
At a certain point, Brett Brown, fresh on the heels of his 56th consecutive loss, just completely lost his mind. As the Dallas Mavericks were obliterating the Sixers on Jan. 27th and Dirk Nowitzki was scoring his age while the four grown men who had attended the game cried in their sleep, an idea struck Brown.
As he was praying, “Please, dear God, prevent me from killing Sam,” an outrageous, yet effective idea struck him. Immediately after the game, he decided to forego his normal pep talk and went to Sam’s Club. Every single one in the Philadelphia metro area. And he bought every ounce of baby oil he could find.
His idea: If you can’t win on an even court; change the court.
So he started squirting the precious, slippery commodity all over the hardwood. He let it soak in. Then he put in another coat. And then another. And another. He kept going until it was slicker than buttered gut. It was to the point that merely looking at the floor was enough to make you fall over.
The next day, the 76ers squad came out and immediately crashed to the ground. Brown was ready for the pep talk:
“You guys suck!” Brown exclaimed without hyperbole. “You are literally and provably the worst team in the in the history of American sports. Not just basketball. ALL OF PROFESSIONAL SPORTS!!
“And for that reason, I’ve come to the conclusion that it is literally impossible for you to win a fair contest with the Warriors. LeBron James has a better chance at parting his hair than you do of winning a game.”
“So, since you can’t win a FAIR game, we’re gonna have to go with UNFAIR,” he hollered, sliding around the court with the ease of an NHL skater. We’re going to learn how to skate-dribble today” he declared. And then he threw out the basketballs, one to each player.
For the next three days, they bounced balls off a floor more slippery than your least favorite politician’s latest answer to a probing question. “Skate-dribbling” became all the rage, with Robert Covington being the first to learn it.
Jahlil Okafor learned a skate-post game. Nerlens Noel started learning to skate-block. And then, the night before the game, they took things to another level, sneaking into Warriors’ gym bags, fortuitously left in the locker room overnight, and smeared some extra baby oil on the Warriors’ shoes.
And when the game started, for the first two quarters everything looked like it was going to work. The Warriors were slipping and sliding all over the court while the practiced 76ers were smoothly skate-dribbling about and draining shots.
The 76ers entered halftime with a 48-13 lead. But then, Steph Curry happened.
Curry spent the intermission pouring baby oil on the locker-room floor and learning skate-dribbling. He even had special buttons he pressed between dribbles. By the time the halftime was over, he was ready to unleash the crossover, slip-back, three-point jumper. And. It. Was. Lethal.
The rest of the game was the Warriors slowly evolving into skate-defense masters, getting a growing number of stops, sliding about the court like penguins on an ice-rink and forcing turnovers. And Curry was so hot the oil on the floor started to boil.
With a slip-back here and slip-back there, before the Sixers knew what happened, the Warriors were right back in it. With 13 seconds remaining the Warriors were down by two, 72-70, and had the ball. During the 76ers’ last timeout, Brown just told his team, “Do what you’re gonna do. You’ll just screw it up anyway. I got this.”
And with that, the team skated out onto the court. They ran a play for Curry, who already had 14 threes on the night. He got the ball and skated about, dribbling the ball until the clock hit three seconds. He slid left, pump faked and three 76ers glided helplessly past him as he released the ball.
And then, as it was no more than six inches away from passing through the hoop, a shot rang out in the stadium that caused both people in the stands to fill up their drawers with their lunch. The suddenly deflated ball careened harmlessly off the rim.
The refs, both teams and both fans looked over to the Sixers’ bench, where Brown was standing with a still-smoking sawed off shotgun.
“Not this time,” said Brown. “Not this time.”
Nobody felt inclined to challenge him.
For the humorless, this is a note to acknowledge this is parody.